Update

Sustainable Finance

 Cannot read this email? Open in your browser.January 2021 
 

Sustainable Finance Update

January

 
 
 
 

Podcast: Time to build back better corporate governance

 
 
 

In our first episode of 2021, Mathilde Mesnard from OECD discusses the global debate around corporate governance.

 
 
 
 
 

Accountancy Europe's response to EFRAG’s consultation on the ad personam mandate

 
 
 

We have responded to the consultation document by EFRAG.

 
 
 
 

Highlights

 
 
 
 

  • Portugal takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union
  • Commission postpones the publication of the EU Taxonomy delegated acts
  • EFRAG European Lab Project Task Force on non-financial reporting standards presents their preliminary views

 
 
 
 
 

Feature story

 
 
 
 

Accountancy Europe responded to the IFRS Foundation consultation paper on sustainability reporting

Accountancy Europe welcomed the IFRS Foundation’s proposal in their consultation paper on sustainability reporting and consider it as a necessary step towards global non-financial information (NFI) reporting standards. Some additional suggestions include:

  • setting out a clear vision for interconnected standard setting for corporate reporting
  • working towards a conceptual framework for interconnected standard setting
  • developing an approach to materiality
  • collaborating with global and European stakeholders
  • building upon the work of existing NFI initiatives.

Read more

 
 
 
 
 

EU Developments

 
 
 
 

EFRAG PTF NFRS published an outreach document on preparatory work on EU non-financial reporting standards

EFRAG’s Project Task Force on Non-Financial Reporting Standards (PTF NFRS) published an outreach document with their preliminary views emerging from the ongoing preparatory work on the possible elaboration for EU non-financial reporting standards. The document was discussed in a series of outreach webinars.

Accountancy Europe co-hosted two of the seven outreach events, specifically the ‘European organisations and other European countries focused’ outreach and the ‘Financial institutions focus’ outreach. We also submitted a letter to the EFRAG’s PTF NFRS on their recent proposals.

Priorities of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 1 January, Portugal took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the 31 June. The three main priorities will be:

  • the promotion of Europe’s recovery, leveraged by the climate and digital transition
  • the implementation of the Social Pillar as a key element for ensuring a fair and inclusive climate and digital transition
  • the strengthening of Europe’s autonomy by keeping it open to the world. Read more

EFRAG’s European Lab: provide your views on non-financial risks and opportunities reporting practices

EFRAG’s European Lab Project Task Force on Reporting of Non-Financial Risks and Opportunities issued a survey to identify good reporting practices of sustainability-related risks and opportunities and how these can develop and sustain a company’s business models. Read more

Commission consults on the establishment of a single access point for financial and non-financial information

The Commission seeks general and technical views on ways to establish a European single access point for companies’ financial and sustainable investment-related information. Such an EU-wide platform should provide investors with seamless access to financial and sustainability-related company information. Stakeholders can contribute until 3 March. Read more

Commission postpones publication of the EU Taxonomy delegated acts

The Commission delayed the publication of EU Taxonomy delegated acts on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Two main reasons stated were: i) high number of responses received ii) some Member States expressed concerns that gas cannot be used as a transition fuel. (Read full article) The Commission also asked the Platform on Sustainable Finance for advice on how the EU Taxonomy is enabling the financing of the transition to a sustainable economy. The Platform’s input is expected to further inform the finalisation of the delegated acts and the renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy. Read more

Council agrees on a general approach to Climate Law

The Council’s agreement includes a new EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. This completed the partial negotiating position agreed by the Council in October 2020 and provided the Presidency with a mandate for further negotiations with the European Parliament (EP) on the Commission proposal. Before the regulation can be adopted, the Council and the EP need to reach a compromise agreement on the proposal. Read more

European Parliament’s position on sustainable corporate governance

MEPs approved a non-legislative report on sustainable corporate governance prepared by Pascal Durand (Renew Europe, France). They welcome the Commission’s commitment to reviewing the Non- Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and reiterate their call to widen its scope to cover all listed and non-listed large undertakings. The EP calls for a mandatory EU framework to cover a full array of sustainability issues related to non-financial reporting. Non-financial statements should also be subject to a mandatory audit. MEPs also call on the Commission to present a legislative proposal to ensure that directors’ duties include the long-term interest of the company and wider societal interests. Read more

 
 
 
 
 

International Developments

 
 
 
 

CDP-CDSB-GRI-IIRC-SASB’s prototype climate-related financial disclosure standard

CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC, SASB published a paper on enterprise value reporting, illustrated with a prototype climate-related financial disclosure standard. These organisations have mapped how their initiatives, along with the TCFD recommendations, can be used in reporting value creation and erosion. Read more

IASB’s Chair keynote speech

The IASB Chair, Hans Hoogervorst, delivered a keynote speech in a virtual conference addressing sustainability, organised by the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He touched upon the projects in this area, including the Exposure Draft for the Management Commentary (expected in spring 2021), the educational materials on climate change and the IFRS Foundation consultation paper on sustainability. Read more

The IIRC revised <IR> Framework to enable enhanced reporting

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) published the first revision of the Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework since its inception. Based on the extensive stakeholders’ feedback (read Accountancy Europe response), the IIRC took the opportunity to clarify concepts, simplify guidance for report preparers and underpin better quality integrated reports. Read more 

 
 
 
 
 

Other news

 
 
Alliance for Corporate Transparency
 
Reform of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive
 
EurActiv
 
Deal on European Climate Law is ‘big priority’ for Portugal at EU helm
 
EurActiv
 
CO2 levels to breach 50% rise from pre-industrial era in 2021
 
ACCA
 
Policy recommendations on the role of public finance professionals in progressing the Sustainable Development Goals
 
 
 

Events

 
 
26-27/01/21
 
Testing the application of the EU Taxonomy to core banking products: High level recommendations – European Banking Federation
 
26/01/21
 
Green bonds and green finance innovation - Bruegel
 
04/02/21
 
Competition policy contributing to the EU Green Deal – European Commission
 
09/02/21
 
Sustainable corporate governance: a pathway for policy coherence on director’s duties and non-financial reporting – CDSB & Frank Bold
 

This curated content was brought to you by Vita Ramanauskaité, Accountancy Europe senior policy advisor since 2015. You can send her tips by email, follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

 
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