Disclosure of climate-related financial risks isn’t good enough for investors, reports a global industry task force.
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) published its latest progress report today, June 5, which found that the disclosure of climate-related financial information has increased since 2016, but is “still insufficient for investors.”
In particular, the task force said companies need to provide investors with more detail on the potential financial impact of climate-related issues. And, it noted that most companies don’t disclose information about the resilience of their strategies for dealing with climate change.
The TCFD’s latest review found that the average number of recommended disclosures per company increased from 2.8 in 2016 to 3.6 in 2018. Further, the proportion of companies that disclosed information aligning with at least one of its recommendations rose from 70% in 2016 to 78% in 2018.
Yet, companies still face challenges in producing disclosure, including a lack of standardized metrics and targets. More companies “need to start their disclosure journey,” the report said.
“While the task force found some of the results of its disclosure review and survey encouraging, it has concerns that not enough companies are disclosing decision-useful climate-related financial information,” the report said.
The report contains a review of 1,100 companies from 142 countries in eight industries, coupled with a survey of investors on the usefulness of climate-related financial disclosures.
“We remain encouraged by the continued growth in the number of companies adhering to the guidelines of the TCFD – it means businesses are better informed about the risks they face, and investors are more capable of making sound decisions. However, we’re also clear-eyed about the serious threat that climate change poses,” said Michael Bloomberg, chair of the TCFD.
“In order to keep people out of harm’s way, and build a more resilient global economy, we need more companies to follow their lead – and soon,” he added.
Mary Schapiro, special advisor to the TCFD chair and vice chair for global public policy at Bloomberg LP, added, “We see extensive and mounting evidence that the physical and transition effects of the climate crisis are real. In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, we need to take forceful action – this includes action from corporations and the private sector at large.”
The TCFD will deliver its next status report in September 2020. In the meantime, it’s considering added guidance on climate-related scenario analysis, and is working to identify relevant, accessible climate-related scenarios.