Climate disclosures fall short of investor expectations

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The UK’s Financial Reporting Council has highlighted the gap between what companies report around climate and what investors expect they do.

The FRC's new report on climate-related financial reporting by businesses offers guidance on how to bridge this gap, recommending that companies use the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework to report on climate-related issues. This framework was well supported by participants; in addition, the UK government expects all listed companies and large asset owners to disclose in line with the TCFD recommendations by 2022.

Sir Jon Thompson, CEO of the FRC, said: “As societal and investor expectations evolve, alongside the regulatory environment, it is clear companies need to rapidly increase their transparency and improve their reporting to meet this demand."

He added that the FRC recognises the need to play a more active role in this space.
 
ClientEarth lawyer Daniel Wiseman said that detailed and balanced climate-related disclosures are essential if investors are to meet their own fiduciary duties, and called on regulators to crack down on companies falling short.
 
“The report shows how rapidly investor expectations and associated legal requirements are evolving in this area. Reporting in line with the TCFD is now the basic expectation. Companies reporting on alignment of their strategy with the Paris Agreement must urgently become the norm,” said Wiseman.