ISSB has done its job, time for media to do its
The single most important announcement at COP whatever it was last year was the setting up of a new standard for determining environmental credentials of companies for the purpose of institutional investment. It was going to shoehorn US$34 trillion in investments towards the greenest companies. It was a quiet but significant announcement at the COP in the UK. The whole things would be set up in about 9 months. Guess what? They did it!!! On 26 June 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) issued its inaugural standards—IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 —ushering in a new era of sustainability-related disclosures in capital markets worldwide.! Only, I wouldn't have known this, except that I looked it up just now (15 July 2023) to lament the lack of action by the ISSB on this app. Now that I looked it up, I can see that they did it! It was just not reported in any of the major news services. Why havent the media reported on it? I am not a conspiracy theorist, and so I do not believe this is because international media conglomerates don't do too well under the new standards. It is incompetence! (the usual suspect). This is idea is to say "C'mon media! Wake up!" Come on media! Get on this! Unless we all get interested in this, then companies and communities, who unfortunately need to opt in to this new standard, will not do it. At least, not all of them, and, not in a hurry. But both those things need to happen for the world to change its course on emissions. 1. Companies need to adopt these standards, and 2. in a hurry. So, what are these standards? For the first time, the Standards create a common language for disclosing the effect of climate-related risks and opportunities on a company’s prospects. The Standards are deigned to help to improve trust and confidence in company disclosures about sustainability to inform investment decisions. They are beacon for certainty in investment decision-making. The Standards were officially launched by ISSB Chair Emmanuel Faber at the IFRS Foundation’s annual conference today and through a week of events hosted by stock exchanges around the world, including those in Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Lagos, London, New York, Santiago de Chile; the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum is also hosting a launch event in Singapore. About the Standards IFRS S1 provides a set of disclosure requirements designed to enable companies to communicate to investors about the sustainability-related risks and opportunities they face over the short, medium and long term. IFRS S2 sets out specific climate-related disclosures and is designed to be used with IFRS S1. Both fully incorporate the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). A global baseline The ISSB developed IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 with the benefit of extensive market feedback and in response to calls from the G20, the Financial Stability Board and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), as well as leaders in the business and investor community. This support for a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosures demonstrates the widespread demand for a consistent understanding of how sustainability factors affect companies’ prospects. The ISSB Standards are designed to ensure that companies provide sustainability-related information alongside financial statements—in the same reporting package. The Standards have been developed to be used in conjunction with any accounting requirements. They are also built on the concepts that underpin the IFRS Accounting Standards, which are required by more than 140 jurisdictions. The ISSB Standards are suitable for application around the world, creating a truly global baseline. Adoption of the ISSB Standards Now that IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 are issued, the ISSB will work with jurisdictions and companies to support adoption. The first steps will be creating a Transition Implementation Group to support companies that apply the Standards and launching capacity-building initiatives to support effective implementation. The ISSB will also continue to work with jurisdictions wishing to require incremental disclosures beyond the global baseline and with GRI to support efficient and effective reporting when the ISSB Standards are applied in combination with other reporting standards. So this idea is that it is better late than never, media - so...start talking about it!