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Set Climate Risk Reporting Rules Or Have Them Imposed, Carney Warns Major Companies

Major corporations have received a two-year ultimatum from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to devise their own approach to reporting the climate risks they face, or have global regulators develop a set of rules and make them mandatory.

At a conference in Tokyo hosted by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which he co-founded in 2015 with U.S. financier and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Carney urged companies to use their next two annual financial reports “to road test how they document the impact of the climate emergency on their businesses,” The Guardian reports.

While some big banks and fossil companies have been working to harmonize their risk reporting, “progress in both quantity and quality is uneven across sectors,” Carney said. The Taskforce itself is working toward “a definitive view of what counts as a high-quality disclosure,” he added, and “in my view the next two reporting periods should balance the urgency of the task and the imperative of getting it right.”

So far, The Guardian says Bloomberg has signed up a network of banks, asset managers, pension funds, and insurance companies that manage a combined US$120 trillion in assets, and about 80% of the top 1,100 companies in G20 countries are engaged in some form of climate risk reporting. Now, “the aim is to develop a series of rules governing how companies report the effect of warming temperatures on their businesses, alongside data showing the contribution of their activities to the problem,” The Guardian writes. “With trillions of dollars needed to build climate-friendly infrastructure, investors needed to know which companies to back and which to shun,” particularly with some businesses now realizing their activities are consistent with 3.0°C average global warming or worse.

“With an estimated $90 trillion of infrastructure spending expected between 2015 and 2030, the right decisions now can make sure those investments are both financially rewarding and environmentally sustainable,” Carney told the conference.