By Mike Bloomberg
The next president should make the U.S. adopt the gold standard for mandating climate-related financial disclosures.
President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to rejoin the Paris climate agreement sends an important signal to the world about U.S. leadership. But the action will merely take us back to four years ago. To push us forward, on his first day in office, President Biden should bring together a group of G-20 leaders to join the U.S. in endorsing a mandatory standard for global businesses to measure and report the risks they face from climate change.
It’s a critically important step that’s entirely within reach, because such a standard already exists and has won widespread global support.
In 2017, under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board, the international Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which I chair, issued a set of guidelines to help companies measure and report climate risks and opportunities, including those associated with the shift away from fossil fuels. That information empowers companies to protect themselves and embrace opportunities; provides investors with information they need to make smart decisions; and will help drive more capital to companies that are acting responsibly.
So far more than 1,600 companies and organizations in nearly 80 countries on six continents have endorsed or adopted TCFD reporting guidelines. Together they represent more than $16 trillion in total market capitalization, and they include financial firms with more than $155 trillion in assets under management. A number of countries have endorsed the framework, including Canada, France and Japan, and New Zealand and the U.K. have already announced they will make risk disclosure along TCFD guidelines mandatory.