IOSCO report on sustainability-related disclosures, speech by IOSCO Chair

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29 Jun 2021

The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a report on issuers’ sustainability-related disclosures that elaborates on IOSCO's vision and expectations for the IFRS Foundation’s work towards a global baseline of investor-focused sustainability standards to improve the global consistency, comparability and reliability of sustainability reporting. In addition, the manuscript of a speech by IOSCO Chair Ashley Alder on the 'crucial' IFRS global baseline has been made available.

The report, developed by IOSCO’s Sustainable Finance Taskforce (STF), reiterates the urgent need to improve the consistency, comparability and reliability of sustainability reporting for investors. It describes IOSCO’s engagement with the IFRS Foundation’s efforts to develop a common set of global sustainability standards to help meet investor needs and to set a sound baseline for jurisdictions to consider when setting or implementing their sustainability-related disclosure requirements. It notes:

IOSCO recognises that individual jurisdictions have different domestic arrangements for adopting, applying or otherwise availing of international standards. It will be important for individual jurisdictions to consider how the common global baseline of standards might be adopted, applied or otherwise utilized within the context of these arrangements and wider legal and regulatory frameworks, in a way that promotes consistent, comparable and reliable sustainability disclosures across jurisdictions.

In a speech given at City Week 2021 on 23 June 2021, IOSCO Chair Ashley Alder stressed the same point:

Within IOSCO, we fully accept that jurisdictional-level approaches are bound to differ. But for corporate reporting, it is essential that these domestic approaches will be fully interoperable with the emerging global baseline, avoiding the rule conflicts or overlaps that could devalue the overall effort. We cannot work in jurisdictional silos when the climate emergency does not respect national boundaries. It is absolutely essential that we resist fragmentation, which is a real risk all regulators are very aware of.

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In addition, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a statement supporting IOSCO's approach (link to IFAC website).

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