Britain to be among the first to apply new climate disclosure rules

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Smoke rises above a factory as the sun sets in Rugby, Britain on February 10, 2021. REUTERS / Matthew Childs / File Photo

LONDON, Oct. 12 (Reuters) – Britain will be among the first countries to apply corporate sustainability disclosure standards from a new global board of directors soon to be unveiled, a government minister said on Tuesday.

The London-based IFRS Foundation is set to unveil a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) ahead of next month’s COP26 United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow.

Backed by major countries, it seeks to replace a patchwork of standards on climate-related corporate disclosures with a single set of global rules that investors say would make it easier to compare companies from different countries.

“The government strongly supports this development and aspires to be among the first countries to adopt them for domestic businesses,” Business Minister Martin Callanan said at an event organized by ICAEW, an organization in the accounting sector. .

Officials at the IFRS Foundation, which already oversees the IASB, a global accounting policy-maker, expect the ISSB to issue its first set of disclosure standards next year.

Callanan said the Ministry of Affairs was developing proposals for the approval and adoption of the ISSB’s disclosure standards and would consult with them next year.

He said Britain would make a “fantastic home” for the ISSB, adding that UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak had said the UK would support the new body wherever it is located.

Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Canada have also offered to host the ISSB.

Separately, Britain is due to explain next month how it will disrupt the UK audit and corporate governance market after a series of corporate collapses.

Callanan said a public consultation showed broad support for a mandatory annual “resilience statement” explaining why companies believe they can meet business challenges in the short, medium and long term.

The ministry has also proposed strict US-style liability for administrators over the financial information they provide to markets, but the UK accounting watchdog signaled on Monday that this could be watered down due to compliance costs.

“When it comes to large companies, I think it’s reasonable for directors to take a little more responsibility for the quality of the information the company produces for the accounts,” Callanan said, declining to expand before the announcement. official.

Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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