ESG International Weekly News 6/26-7/1
1.IFRS Releases Global Sustainability and Climate Reporting Standards
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) of the IFRS Foundation has officially launched new global sustainability and climate disclosure standards. These standards are expected to serve as the foundation for emerging sustainability reporting requirements by regulators worldwide, aiming to integrate sustainability reporting into the broader financial reporting process. Starting from January 2024, the new standards will be applicable for annual reporting periods, with companies issuing disclosures against them from 2025. Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, highlights the importance of globally comparable sustainability-related disclosures that have the potential to impact market prices while avoiding the burden of additional jurisdiction-specific requirements.The ISSB was established in November 2021 at the COP26 climate conference to develop IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. The goal is to meet the demand from investors, companies, governments, and regulators for a global baseline of disclosure requirements, enabling a consistent understanding of the impact of sustainability risks and opportunities on companies' prospects.The two new standards are "IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information" and "IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures." They cover disclosures related to general sustainability, climate-specific risks and opportunities, governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets. These standards aim to provide decision-useful information to primary users of general purpose financial reports.Regulators in major jurisdictions, including Europe, the UK, and the US, are introducing or preparing mandatory sustainability reporting requirements influenced by the ISSB standards. The ISSB will work with jurisdictions and companies to support the adoption of these standards, including the creation of a Transition Implementation Group. ISSB Chair Emmanuel Faber also mentioned the possibility of adding requirements to the climate reporting standard, covering areas such as natural ecosystems, deforestation, biodiversity, and the just transition. The publication of these new standards marks the beginning of a consultation process on future priorities beyond climate, emphasizing the importance of better information leading to better economic decisions.
國際財務報導準則基金會（IFRS Foundation）的國際永續發展準則委員會（ISSB）正式推出新的全球永續和氣候披露標準。這些標準預計將成為全球監管機構新興永續報告要求的基礎，旨在將永續報告融入更廣泛的財務報告流程中。新標準將從2024年1月開始適用於年度報告期，企業將於2025年開始依據這些標準進行披露。IFRS Foundation董事會主席Erkki Liikanen強調了具有全球可比性的永續性相關披露的重要性，這些披露有潛力影響市場價格，同時避免了額外的司法管轄區要求的負擔。ISSB於2021年11月在COP26氣候大會上成立，旨在制定國際財務報導準則的永續發展披露標準。目標是滿足投資者、企業、政府和監管機構對全球披露要求的需求，實現對永續性風險和機會對企業前景影響的一致理解。兩項新標準分別是「IFRS S1可持續發展相關財務信息披露的一般要求」和「IFRS S2氣候相關披露」。它們涵蓋了與一般永續性、氣候特定風險和機會、監管、策略、風險管理、指標和目標相關的披露。這些標準旨在為普通財務報告的主要使用者提供有用的信息。包括歐洲、英國和美國在內的主要司法管轄區的監管機構正在引入或準備推出受ISSB標準影響的強制性永續發展報告要求。ISSB將與各司法管轄區和企業合作，支持這些標準的采納，包括建立過渡實施小組來支持。
2.New Rulebook for Company Carbon Markets Claims Launched by VCMI
The Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMI), a body focused on carbon markets, has announced the launch of its Claims Code of Practice. The code aims to provide a rulebook for companies to navigate carbon markets and make credible climate claims. The VCMI aims to build market confidence in companies' engagement with voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) and accelerate their use as part of net-zero pathways. VCMI Steering Committee Co-Chair Rachel Kyte emphasizes the importance of consistent global guidance to underpin a high-quality market and stimulate corporate use. The Claims Code is designed to instill confidence and trust among users, forming the foundation of a valuable and impactful market. Demand for carbon offset projects and related credits is expected to rise significantly as companies pursue net-zero ambitions and seek to balance unavoidable emissions. However, the unregulated and rapidly growing market faces challenges in differentiating between high and low-quality projects and assessing their effectiveness due to insufficient or inconsistent data. Announced in 2021 by COP26 President Alok Sharma, VCMI collaborates with stakeholders across the private sector, indigenous peoples, local communities, and governments to enable high-integrity voluntary carbon markets that contribute to climate action and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Claims Code, released today, focuses on the demand side, while the VCM Access Strategy Toolkit focuses on the supply side, assisting policymakers in establishing policies and processes for participation in high-integrity VCMs.The Claims Code introduces three tiers of claims (Platinum, Gold, and Silver) for GHG emissions reductions and removals. It outlines the steps required to make a "VCMI Claim," including meeting the VCMI's Foundational Criteria for climate strategy, selecting a claim tier, choosing carbon markets that meet stringent quality thresholds, disclosing information to support the claim, and conducting independent validation and assurance.VCMI Steering Committee Co-Chair Tariye Gbadegesin emphasizes that integrity is crucial for the VCM to be a powerful tool for achieving a net-zero world and mobilizing finance for low- and middle-income countries. The availability of clear and transparent guidance through the Claims Code, paired with the ICVCM's Core Carbon Principles guiding the supply side, ensures "end-to-end" integrity, enabling crucial market development.
3.UK Environment Minister Quits Over Government “Apathy” on Climate
UK Foreign Office Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate, and Environment, Zac Goldsmith, announced his resignation from his post on Friday, citing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's "apathy" towards government efforts in addressing climate change and environmental issues as the reason for his departure. In his resignation letter, Goldsmith commended the UK's leadership in environmental and climate initiatives, highlighting the UK-hosted COP26 climate conference in 2021 and its significant influence on the international agreement to protect 30% of global land and oceans by 2030, as well as efforts to establish a global treaty on plastic pollution. However, Goldsmith expressed his dismay at the gradual abandonment of these commitments under Sunak's leadership, noting that the UK has visibly retreated from the world stage and relinquished its leadership on climate and nature. Specific criticisms in his letter included the Prime Minister's decision not to attend a crucial environmental summit in Paris, referring to the Summit for a New Financial Pact, and the government effectively abandoning a pledge to allocate £11.6 billion of aid to climate and environmental causes. Goldsmith highlighted the lack of accountability due to the final year of expenditure falling after the next general election. Goldsmith specifically held the Prime Minister responsible for the "government's apathy," asserting that the lack of interest has permeated through Whitehall and resulted in a state of paralysis. Goldsmith's resignation follows a rebuke from the Privileges Committee, which issued a special report criticizing a group of MPs and peers for interfering in the House of Commons' investigation into the "Partygate" scandal involving Boris Johnson.
4.50% of CEOs Have Pay Tied to ESG Goals, up from 15% One Year Ago: IBM Survey
According to a global CEO survey conducted by IBM, the practice of tying executive incentive pay to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals has significantly increased over the past year. Approximately 50% of CEOs now report that their compensation is linked to sustainability objectives, compared to only 15% in the previous year. The survey, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in collaboration with Oxford Economics, involved interviews with 3,000 CEOs from over 30 countries and 24 industries. The study also revealed that environmental sustainability was identified as the most frequently cited top challenge for CEOs in the next three years, although it ranked lower in organizational priorities compared to the previous year. The report highlighted the slow progress in sustainability initiatives, with insufficient data cited as a major obstacle. Additionally, CEOs expressed a lack of confidence in their organizations' ability to report on ESG strategy and initiatives. The report also noted that inconsistent standards are delaying major investments in emerging areas such as sustainability and data privacy.
5. Maersk Orders New Green Methanol-Powered Ships
Container logistics company A.P. Moller - Maersk has placed an order for six mid-sized container vessels that can operate on green methanol, expanding its low carbon fleet. The dual-fuel ships, to be built by Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group, will have a capacity of 9,000 containers and are expected to be delivered in 2026 and 2027. These vessels will replace existing capacity in Maersk's fleet and result in an estimated reduction of 450,000 tons of CO2e emissions per year. Maersk aims to achieve net zero gas emissions by 2040 and is taking steps towards green transformation with its methanol-powered ships.