Sustainability-Related Financial Disclosures Rules Move Towards Standardization


In critical milestone to accelerate adoption of consistent, comparable and reliable sustainability information, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced this week that it has decided to endorse the sustainability-related financial disclosures standards recently issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

IOSCO has engaged extensively with the ISSB over the last two years during the development of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, culminating in a comprehensive and independent review of the final standards. After a detailed analysis, IOSCO has determined that the ISSB standards are appropriate to serve as a global framework for capital markets to develop the use of sustainability-related financial information in both capital raising and trading and for the purpose of helping globally integrated financial markets accurately assess relevant sustainability risks and opportunities.

Rodrigo Buenaventura, the Chair of the IOSCO Sustainability Task Force (STF) posted “I am delighted that today we announced the endorsement by IOSCO of the recent ISSB standards. As chair of the IOSCO task force in charge of this project, it is very rewarding for me to see that we have now a truly global way of reporting risks and opportunities faced by issuers on sustainability matters. This will only bring benefits for investors worldwide, as countries and jurisdictions start adopting these standards for reporting by issuers as from 2024. Thanks to all who contributed to this landmark project. Read out our press release here and stay tuned for more information.”

IOSCO has now called on its 130 member jurisdictions, regulating more than 95% of the world's financial markets, to consider ways in which they might adopt, apply or otherwise be informed by the ISSB Standards within the context of their jurisdictional arrangements, in a way that promotes consistent and comparable climate-related and other sustainability-related disclosures for investors.

Jean-Paul Servais, Chair of the Board of IOSCO, commented: “This is a critical moment in advancing IOSCO’s goal of improving climate-risk disclosure for investors. Investors are demanding better information about sustainability risks and opportunities, and the G20, the G7, and the FSB rely on IOSCO to assess whether the ISSB Standards are fit for purpose for capital markets. Our members, working together, have carefully analysed the ISSB’s standards against IOSCO’s endorsement criteria. IOSCO has found that the ISSB conducted a robust process and have concluded that these standards serve as an effective and proportionate global framework of investor-focused disclosures on sustainability- and climate-related risks and opportunities. At the beginning of my mandate as Chairman, I said IOSCO would meet expectations because the delivery of high-quality standards in due time is of the essence when it comes to sustainability. Today, with the publication of the endorsement decision, I am honoured to say we did just that.”

IOSCO has published a report of its technical assessment which is available here.

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