business man using magnifying glass to inspect documents

With the consultation on proposed global standards for climate disclosure about to close, global securities regulators are preparing to examine the outcome with a view to endorsing the final standards.

Back in March, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) released its draft sustainability standards for public consultation.

Ahead of the deadline for submissions on July 29, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) reported that, at its latest board meeting, the group discussed the ISSB’s proposed standards and the criteria it will use to decide whether to embrace the final standards once they’re released.

“Now that we have concurrence on the criteria which we will use to assess the ISSB standards and have also identified what are emerging as the key issues for IOSCO to focus on, we will engage further with ISSB technical staff and the ISSB board to provide feedback which will stand us in good stead to make a final recommendation to the IOSCO board on endorsement,” said Abigail Ng, executive director for markets policy and infrastructure at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), who is leading an IOSCO group that developed its assessment criteria.

IOSCO’s review of the proposed standards will start once they are finalized by the ISSB.

In the meantime, IOSCO said it’s “closely monitoring” the feedback that the ISSB’s consultation has generated, and that it has begun working with global audit standard setters to promote a common approach to auditing issuers’ sustainability disclosures.

“We are seeing huge enthusiasm for IOSCO to contribute to the ISSB’s consultation so that the final versions of these crucial standards fulfil the requirements of our securities regulator membership,” said Ashley Alder, chair of IOSCO’s board and CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong, in a release.

Among other things, IOSCO’s evaluation of the final standards will focus on the practicality of implementing them across different markets, in companies of various sizes, and in different industries, he noted.

Endorsing the ISSB’s final standards will be a “crucial step” toward improving the comparability in sustainability reporting, IOSCO said, as it seeks to enhance transparency and mitigate greenwashing in financial markets.

“We are at a critical moment. The future shape of global sustainability reporting standards and disclosure regimes in major markets are beginning to take shape. We have confidence that the ISSB can successfully tackle the issues emerging in the public debate and work towards sustainability standards that capital markets can rally around,” said Jean-Paul Servais, chair of the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority.