Daily ESG Briefing: G7 backs mandatory TCFD reporting and endorses recently launched nature equivalent

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Group of Seven (G7) countries said in their final communique this weekend that they support “moving towards the mandatory climate-related financial disclosures that provide consistent and decision-useful information for market participants…” The G7 communique said mandatory disclosures be based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The wider G20 is also discussing mandatory reporting and there are reports that an international agreement could be reached at this year’s COP26.

The G7 also endorsed the new Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) which launched last Friday. Welcoming the G7 endorsement, TNFD Co-Chair Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said: “Nature is declining at rates unseen in human history, which poses unprecedented risks for corporates and financial institutions, so now is the time for decisive action that can secure a sustainable future.”

Storebrand is sending a letter to all its external managers clarifying its expectations on climate action and biodiversity. In a post on LinkedIn, Marcus Bruns, Nordic Head of Sustainability, Storebrand, said it will reconsider relationships if managers of external funds offered to its pension customers do not show progress on committing to Net Zero by 2050, setting targets to reduce GHG emissions, engaging on climate change and working actively to ensure preservation of biodiversity. 

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and MSCI will jointly publish open source Thai listed companies’ sustainability ratings for investors. SET Senior Executive Vice President Rinjai Chakornpipat said SET is committed to promoting listed companies toward sustainable operations and raising investor awareness of sustainable investing. 

The Asia Investor Group on Climate Change has launched an engagement programme with Asia’s systemically important electric utilities. to run in parallel with Climate Action 100+. 13 investors, responsible for $8.8tn in assets, will engage this year with China Resources Power Holdings, CLP Holdings (Hong Kong), Chubu Electric Power (Japan), Electric Power Development (Japan) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (Malaysia).

The Finnish and Swedish prime ministers have come under fierce fire from green politicians and conservationists for sending a letter to European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen asking it to weaken elements in the EU taxonomy on sustainable forestry. In the letter dated 15 April, the PMs wrote that “the requirements on Forestry are far more extensive and detailed than other complex activities in the taxonomy”. They were also asking for “less detailed provisions for the forest management plans” and wished “the concept of close-to-nature forestry to be deleted.”

NGO Majority Action has criticised J.P. Morgan Chase’s decision to resume political donations to some members of the US Congress who supported the Capitol insurrection and refused to certify the 2020 Election for President Joe Biden. JPMorgan, like many other financial institutions, had suspended donations to 147 members who opposed the US election result. Eli Kasargod-Staub, Executive Director of Majority Action, said its resumption of some donations “shows they are continuing to put short-term interests ahead of prioritising democracy”.