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IOSCO welcomes ISSB’s publication of sustainability standards exposure drafts

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Madrid, 31 March 2022

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) welcomes the publication of the Exposure Drafts of proposed climate and general sustainability disclosure requirements. These have been published today for public consultation by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

Erik Thedéen, Chair of the IOSCO Sustainable Finance Task Force (STF) said: “These exposure drafts will help clear the way for corporates to accelerate progress towards disclosing complete, consistent and comparable information on sustainability matters, and we encourage all stakeholders to engage constructively with the ISSB during the consultation.”

IOSCO, which supported setting up the ISSB last year under the umbrella of the IFRS Foundation, will now begin its own review of these draft standards, with a view to informing its potential endorsement of the final standards.

Sheldon Mills, co-lead of the STF’s workstream on corporate reporting, said his group would “begin an in-depth review of the exposure drafts to determine whether they meet securities regulators’ expectations. The group will consider: whether the proposed requirements can serve as an effective global baseline of investor-focussed standards; whether they are fit for purpose in helping financial markets accurately assess sustainability risks and opportunities; and whether they can form the basis for the development of a robust audit and assurance framework.”

IOSCO’s endorsement of the final standards once these are issued by the ISSB would be a landmark in sustainable finance; it would support IOSCO members as they consider how to adopt, apply, or be informed by the ISSB standards as the baseline for their own sustainable reporting requirements.

Julia Leung, fellow co-lead of the STF’s corporate reporting workstream, said: “The IFRS standards serve as the basis for financial reporting across 140 jurisdictions and have helped drive the globalisation of financial markets. IOSCO played a pivotal role through its endorsement of the IFRS standards 20 years ago, and it is envisioned that the ISSB standards can achieve the same impact for sustainability reporting globally.”

IOSCO has set up the structures needed to review the draft standards proposed by the ISSB and will continue to engage closely and constructively with the standards board throughout its review process. IOSCO is seeking to finalise its endorsement process shortly after the ISSB finalises the standards.  

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