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Topic: ESG

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ESAs letter to Commission on priority issues relating to SFDR application

On 15 January 2021, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a letter it had sent to the European Commission concerning priority issues relating to the draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) under Regulation 2019/2088 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (SFDR). The letter reports that areas of uncertainty have been … Continue Reading

FCA Policy Statement 20/17: Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarification of existing disclosure obligations

On 21 December 2020, the FCA published Policy Statement 20/17: Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarification of existing disclosure obligations (PS20/17). In March 2020 the FCA issued Consultation Paper 20/3: Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarification of existing disclosure obligations (CP20/3) in which it set out proposals … Continue Reading

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Order 2020

On 17 December 2020, there was published on legislation.gov.uk The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Order 2020. The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020 (the principal Order) set up the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) and will be operational from 1 January 2021. Key provisions in the principal Order cover the scope … Continue Reading

US Federal Reserve joins NGFS and two new publications released

On 15 December 2020, the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) announced the following new members: US Federal Reserve System, Central Bank of Paraguay, Financial Regulatory Authority of Egypt, Financial Services Authority of Indonesia, Central Bank of Iceland, Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Central Bank of Uruguay and the European Securities and Markets Authority. The … Continue Reading

UNEP FI draft guidance document – reporting on the principles for responsible banking

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilize private sector finance for sustainable development. The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) are a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its … Continue Reading

Delegated acts on ESG disclosure requirements for benchmark administrators published in OJ

On Thursday, 3 December 2020, the long-anticipated delegated acts on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure requirements for benchmark administrators authorised or registered under European Benchmark Regulation (BMR) were published in the EU Official Journal (OJ). In addition to the delegated acts on the ESG disclosure requirements, a delegated act on the EU Climate … Continue Reading

ECB publishes final guide on climate-related and environmental risks for banks

On 27 November 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its final and amended guide on climate-related and environmental risks following a public consultation. The guide outlines the ECB’s understanding of the safe and prudent management of climate-related and environmental risks under the current prudential framework. It describes how the ECB expects institutions to consider … Continue Reading

Investing with purpose: placing stewardship at the heart of sustainable growth

On 24 November 2020, the Asset Management Task Force (Taskforce) published a report, Investing with purpose: placing stewardship at the heart of sustainable growth.   Established in October 2017, the Taskforce was designed to encourage greater dialogue between the Government, the investment industry and the FCA to ensure the UK investment industry continues to deliver … Continue Reading

Sustainable Finance and Taxonomy: Commission launches public consultation on criteria defining environmentally sustainable activities

On 22 November 2020, the European Commission issued a consultation on a draft delegated act under the Taxonomy Regulation. The Taxonomy Regulation establishes the framework for the EU taxonomy by setting out four conditions that an economic activity must meet in order to qualify as environmentally sustainable: It contributes substantially to one or more of … Continue Reading

FCA speech – Building trust in sustainable investments

On 23 November 2020, the FCA published a speech by Richard Monks (Director of Strategy, FCA) entitled Building trust in sustainable investments. The speech was delivered at the SRI Services and Partners ‘Good Money Week’ panel discussion on 21 October 2020. During his speech Mr Monks states that the FCA is considering whether it would … Continue Reading

FSB examines financial stability implications of climate change

On 23 November 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report that discusses the potential implications of climate change for financial stability. It investigates channels through which climate-related risks might impact the financial system. The report: Sets out the ways in which physical and transition risks from climate change can affect financial stability, as … Continue Reading

Bank of England is restarting the Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario

On 13 November 2020, the Bank of England (BoE) announced that it will be restarting the Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario (CBES) from June 2021. The announcement lists those institutions that have been invited to take part in the CBES and the planned engagement with participants ahead of the June 2021 launch. Planned engagement before June … Continue Reading

UK Finance Sustainable Finance White Paper

On 12 November 2020, UK Finance issued a White Paper on Sustainable Finance.   The White Paper sets out UK Finance’s recommendations on principles that should underpin the measurement of multi-year commitments to sustainable finance. The principles were developed though discussion with a panel of a dozen firms and approved by UK Finance’s senior sustainability … Continue Reading

UK joint regulator and government TCFD Taskforce: Interim Report and Roadmap

On 9 November 2020, HM Treasury published an Interim Report of the UK’s Joint Government-Regulator TCFD Taskforce together with a roadmap towards mandatory climate-related disclosures. The Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a private sector led group convened by the Financial Stability Board in 2015 to “develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures that would … Continue Reading

BoE and FCA speeches on climate change

On 9 November 2020, there was published the following speeches: The time to push ahead on tackling climate change. In this speech the Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Andrew Bailey, discusses climate change and the role of the financial system. Among other things Mr Bailey announces the launch date of a climate stress … Continue Reading

First steps taken towards a mandatory human rights due diligence law

On 26 October 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) launched a public consultation[1] on sustainable corporate governance (the Consultation), soliciting responses from stakeholders on a possible EU sustainable corporate governance initiative with the aim of ensuring “that environmental and social interests are embedded in business strategies”. The Consultation will, according to the Commission, complement the … Continue Reading

ESMA consults on draft advice to the Commission under Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation

On 5 November 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a consultation paper containing in draft form its advice to the European Commission (Commission) on Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation. Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation obliges undertakings covered by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive to publish information on how and to what … Continue Reading

EBA discussion paper on management and supervision of ESG risks for credit institutions

On 3 November 2020, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a discussion paper on the management and supervision of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks for credit institutions and investment firms. In the discussion paper ESG factors and ESG risks are identified and explained, giving particular consideration to risks stemming from environmental factors and especially … Continue Reading

Letter to ESAs – application of Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on the sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector

On 30 October 2020, the European Commission published a letter from it to the chairs of the European Supervisory Authorities. The letter was with regard to the application of Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on the sustainability related disclosures in the financial services sector and related technical standards. Key points in the letter include: The co-legislators agreed … Continue Reading

Regulatory initiatives applicable to impact investing

As the regulatory framework concerning environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues continues to develop, new rules will govern how impact investing is undertaken. Although the core focus of the ESG agenda has been on environmental sustainability, social matters have also been addressed and are likely to grow in importance in the coming years, particularly in … Continue Reading

FSB task force on climate-related financial disclosures – 2020 status report

On 29 October 2020, the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) task force on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) published its 2020 status report on TCFD-aligned disclosures by firms. The FSB established the TCFD in 2015 and tasked it with developing a set of voluntary, consistent disclosure recommendations for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders … Continue Reading

BIS speech – The Basel Committee’s initiatives on climate related financial risks

On 14 October 2020, the Bank for International Settlements published a speech by Kevin Stiroh (Co-Chair of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Risks of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) on the Basel Committee’s initiatives on climate-related financial risks. In his speech … Continue Reading

The Sustainable Finance Regulation Video Series

  Volume 2: key risk and governance considerations   Over the next few months, Norton Rose Fulbright’s financial services conduct team will be releasing a series of videos focussing on sustainable finance regulation issues affecting financial services firms. In volume 2 of the series, John Coley discusses the key risk and governance issues emerging in … Continue Reading

ESAS launch survey on environmental and/or social financial product templates

On 21 September 2020, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a survey seeking public feedback on presentational aspects of product templates, pursuant to Article 8(3), Article 9(5) and Article 11(4) of the Regulation on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services (SFDR). In particular, the ESAs are inviting stakeholders to comment on the layout of the … Continue Reading
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