Amid growing consumer and investor demand for a transition to a more sustainable financial sector and economy, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is planning measures to better inform investment decision-making, and to enhance retail investor access to more environmentally friendly financial products and services.
In a paper published on Wednesday, the FCA set out a series of proposals that, among other things, aim to improve climate change disclosures by issuers, enhance the integration of climate change risk considerations into the decision-making of regulated firms and bolster access to green products and services.
The proposals include consulting on new rules to improve issuers’ climate-related disclosures and clarify their existing obligations; reforms requiring independent governance committees to oversee and report on regulated firms’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies by the end of 2019; and taking action to prevent firms from engaging in potential “greenwashing.”
“We have an important role to play in creating an environment where firms can manage the risks from moving to a greener economy and capture the opportunities to benefit consumers,” said Andrew Bailey, CEO of the FCA, in a statement.
Bailey added that the proposals represent the regulator’s next step in providing “clarity for firms and consumers about how our work will help support the response to the climate challenge and the development of the green finance market.”
Policymakers around the world are grappling with similar issues in their markets.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released new guidance on issuers’ climate-related disclosure obligations that aims to enhance their reporting on climate-related risks.