Stakeholder Quotes: FSB Announces Membership of Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

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Yesterday afternoon the Financial Stability Board (FSB) announced the membership of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, launched by Mark Carney during COP21 and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. The full press release is on the FSB website and attached.

Also yesterday,  Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, two non-profits who seek to promote transparency in relation to climate risk, announced they will tomorrow (Friday) launch proposals for risk reporting by fossil fuel companies. The “Considerations for reporting disclosure in a carbon-constrained world” paper is designed to assist the TCFD members in assessing the energy transition risk and ‘stranded asset’ danger inherent in the business-as-usual strategies of many fossil fuel companies.

Newly appointed Task-foce members:

Jane Ambachtsheer, Partner, Chair – Responsible Investment, Mercer: “Understanding the investment impacts of climate change is a growing priority for our clients. The Task Force represents the next step on the journey to heightened climate risk management, and we are pleased to be able to participate in its work”.

Michael Wilkins, Managing Director, Global Head of Environmental & Climate Risk Research, S&P: “We are delighted to play a part in this important Task Force which brings together some of the world’s leading experts on climate change related risk. While climate change is a hot topic at the moment, it is all the more important that industries and investors understand its associated risks in order that they can be managed in the future. S&P’s membership demonstrates the depth and breadth of our research and our long-standing expertise in the market.”

Martin Skancke, Board Chair of Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI): “I am delighted to be asked to contribute to this important work. Proper measurement and management of carbon-related risks is a central challenge for investors, with wider implications for financial stability. The priorities of the task force are also well aligned with the work and priorities of the PRI.”

Stakeholder responses:

Mark Campanale, founder and executive director of Carbon Tracker: “Climate disclosure by fossil fuel companies is crucial as investors appraise all the risks facing the sector post Paris.  Volatility in the energy sector and reaction by shareholders illustrates the importance of managing the orderly transition for investors to avoid any ‘shocks.’  We welcome the full range of experts on the panel look forward to providing technical support where needed. It will be important to understand which individual fossil fuel companies may be at risk, as well as management’s plans for addressing the looming issue. They also should allow for a system-wide overview of how the transition is progressing over time.”

Ben Caldecott, Programme Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford: “The Task Force has a unique opportunity to help correct some significant failures in the way that companies currently disclose data on environmental performance. The current reporting paradigm – where only some companies annually disclose data; where reported data might not be relevant for assessing the environmental performance of assets; where reported data may be inaccurate and out of date; where companies have to spend a significant amount of time filling in forms for different reporting systems; and where third parties spend significant effort trying to assure reported data – could be very significantly improved. The FSB has brought together an impressive collection of key people and organisations able to identify and push forward much needed reforms.”

Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP: “With the Paris Agreement charting a new direction for the global economy, the taskforce has an opportunity to enhance the capital markets’ knowledge of the financial risks of climate change and build on current best practice in climate disclosure. Under the chairmanship of Michael R. Bloomberg and expert guidance of the members, we believe the TCFD can deliver what the market needs by getting the G20 to adopt its recommendations. We look forward to working with the taskforce to make that happen.”

The Task Force has also launched a new website (http://www.fsb-tcfd.org/) and twitter account (https://twitter.com/FSB_TCFD).