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New global sustainability disclosures board draws heavyweight backing

Former European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet will head an advisory group on setting up a global board for sustainability-related company disclosures, the IFRS Foundation said on Monday.

The new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), due to be unveiled ahead of the COP26 U.N. climate change conference in Glasgow in November, aims to replace a patchwork of voluntary guidance with a single set of global norms for firms reporting the impact of climate change on their business.

The IFRS Foundation already oversees the International Accounting Standards Board, which writes accounting rules used in over 140 countries, and the SSB would be a parallel board.

Finance ministers from the G7 group of rich nations said on Saturday there was a need for a “baseline global reporting standard” for sustainability and they encouraged proposals leading to the establishment of the ISSB ahead of COP26.

Heavyweight backing from the G7 and former central bankers like Trichet will be critical to getting the new global board off the ground at a time when the European Union is forging ahead with its own set of rules.

The “eminent persons” group advising on the SSB will also include Sheila Bair, former chair of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Nandan Nilekani, chair and co-founder of IT consultants Infosys; Guillermo Ortiz, former governor of the Bank of Mexico; and Min Zhu, former deputy managing director of the international monetary fund, are also members.

Last week the foundation called for nominations by the end of June for chair and vice-chair for the ISSB.

Foundation trustee Lucrezia Reichlin told Reuters in April that the new board aims to publish its first batch of sustainability reporting standards by the middle of 2022.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Toby Chopra/Mark Heinrich)

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