Britain eyes 2026 start for tougher company climate disclosures

17 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Britain eyes 2026 start for tougher company climate disclosures

eBusiness Weekly

Britain said on Thursday it would decide in the second quarter of next year on whether to endorse a global set of climate disclosures that would be mandatory for listed companies from January 2026.

Currently Britain requires listed companies to make climate-related disclosures using norms from a global taskforce, but they are expected to be replaced by more rigorous rules from the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which Britain and other G20 countries have backed.

The European Union and the United States have drawn up their own climate disclosure standards, as authorities seek to replace a patchwork of private sector practices with rules to stamp out greenwashing, or companies inflating their climate-friendly credentials.

The government said, opens new tab it aims to make the UK-endorsed ISSB standards available in the first quarter of next year, with a final decision on their formal adoption in the following quarter.

“Subject to a positive endorsement decision by the UK Government, and following a consultation process, the Financial Conduct Authority will be able to use the UK Sustainability Reporting Standards to introduce requirements for UK-listed companies to report sustainability-related information,” the government said in a statement.

“As a result, any changes that may be introduced would be effective no earlier than accounting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2026,” the government said.

It would also decide on disclosure requirements for UK-based companies that do not fall within the FCA’s rules.

“That decision will take into account a number of factors, including costs for reporting companies and benefits for investors that may wish to use this information,” the government said.

The government will also consult shortly on how Britain’s biggest companies inform investors about their transition plans, or maps for reaching net zero economy targets.

Britain has also indicated it wants to create a green taxonomy, or list of investments that can be considered to be climate-friendly to help investors.

The EU already has a taxonomy, but the UK project has faced delays.

The government said it will consult “in due course” on the proposed UK taxonomy to seek feedback on the specific activity level criteria which defines green activities. — Reuters

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