Daily ESG Briefing: Climate knowledge not required to join or remain on most company boards – survey

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Almost 70% of the 300 board directors surveyed by INSEAD and Heidrick & Struggles said climate knowledge is not a formal requirement for joining or staying on company boards. Alongside this, 74% of the global cohort said the issue is not, or is only slightly, integrated into executive performance metrics. Two-thirds also said climate knowledge is not a formal requirement when recruiting a new CEO, while almost half said climate change is not, or only slightly, integrated the company’s investment decisions.  

Goldman Sachs has announced interim decarbonisation goals for the oil & gas, power and auto manufacturing sectors. The initial set of 2030 financed emissions sector targets were included in the bank’s TCFD report, published yesterday, and focused on sectors where the bank sees “an opportunity to proactively engage our clients, deploy capital, and invest in new commercial solutions”. Its 2030 target includes a 17-22% emissions reduction for oil and gas, based on a 2019 baseline; reductions of 48-65% for the power sector and 49-54% for auto manufacturing. Goldman Sachs announced in March this year its Net Zero 2050 commitment.  

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the United States has requested feedback on draft principles designed to support the identification and management of climate-related financial risks at OCC-regulated institutions. This includes national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. It is asking for feedback on the draft principles and the included questions by February 14, 2022.  

The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU has called for more clarity on elements of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and Taxonomy regulations. The Chamber’s Sustainable Finance Task Force has identified several questions regarding the frameworks and in a letter dated 16 December to John Berrigan, Director-General of DG FISMA at the European Commission it called for clarifications ahead of the approaching disclosure deadlines. Areas of uncertainty identified by the Chamber included details around Taxonomy-related disclosures under the SFDR, the deadline for which is 1 January 2022, and further details around disclosures of taxonomy-aligned capital and operational expenditures under the Taxonomy regulation.