Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures tipped for roll out in Australia

New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is coordinating the initiative, RI understands

Investors and government bodies in Australia are in discussions about establishing a national chapter of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), RI understands.

Launched in June, the TNFD has until 2023 to develop a framework for companies and financial institutions to assess, manage and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity. Investors include the UK Governments and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and it has backing from public bodies and governments in Switzerland, France, Italy and Sweden. 

Mirroring the model of the influential TCFD, the TNFD will include around 30 experts from finance and business. It is co-chaired by David Craig, the CEO of Refinitiv and Group Leader of Data & Analytics Division at the London Stock Exchange Group, and Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Interim Executives Directors are Rhian-Mari Thomas, Chief Executive of the UK’s Green Finance Institute, and Andrew Mitchell, Founder of British environmental NGO, Global Canopy. 

Now, according to sources, there are plans to roll the initiative out into Australia, with the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment expected to coordinate investors and host a proposed new chapter.

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment acknowledged that it was a “stakeholder” in the TNFD, but declined to comment further. TNFD also declined to comment. 

Research published last year by WWF predicted that Australia would have $20bn wiped off its GDP each year by 2050 if it doesn’t address nature loss.

Earlier this month, the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia launched a Nature Working Group including  Refinitiv, Pollination, KPMG, Deloitte, and EY, to look at how the TNFD translates into the regional context. The group will also work to promote the nature-related recommendations made by the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative and the Aotearoa Circle Sustainable Finance Forum in their roadmaps for the country. 

Elsewhere, Norges Bank Investment Management – which runs Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund – last week released biodiversity expectations for investee companies. It told RI it would integrate these expectations into voting and stewardship efforts: 

“We will integrate biodiversity and ecosystem considerations into all our responsible investment activities,” a spokesperson said. “The expectations form a starting point for our dialogues with companies, and we will raise biodiversity issues where relevant to support the companies in addressing the topic in a manner that is meaningful to their business. We will consider proxy voting and risk-based divestments in line with other sustainability topics we look at. We will seek to measure companies’ disclosures on biodiversity in line with our expectations.”