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ESG Round-Up: UK Government plans widening of regulatory net, says minister

The latest developments in sustainable finance: Climate Action 100+ issues aviation guidance; ISS ESG wins Eurosystem contract.

The UK Government is set to regulate further on ESG reporting standards, according to the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ESG. Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s ESG conference, Conservative MP Alexander Stafford said that three government departments were working to harmonise reporting standards, and called for the introduction of mandatory reporting for pension schemes and companies of all size. At present, only pension schemes above £1 billion in size and larger companies will be mandated to produce TCFD reports.

Speaking at a different conference, UK pensions minister Guy Opperman criticised the lack of long-term vision in the country’s pensions industry. “I wouldn’t say I’m on my own because I’ve got amazing civil servants, I’ve got an amazing team around me. But I’m always struck by how little input I get from industry as to what [it should] look like in five to 10 years’ time,” he said. Opperman also joked that he might lose his position if rumours of an upcoming government reshuffle are true. He is set to become the country’s longest serving pensions minister in June.

Climate Action 100+ has called on its investors to ensure that any marketing or public claims to being “carbon neutral” or “net zero” by aviation companies adhere to the official definition set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The call is amongst a series of recommendations made by the investor initiative in its new guidance for its signatories on how they should engage with the sector.

ISS ESG has won a tender to supply the Eurosystem with the data and information it requires to implement its common stance for applying climate-related sustainable investment principles in euro-denominated non-monetary policy portfolios. The Deutsche Bundesbank acted on behalf of all the central banks that belong to the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) to enter in the contract with the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.