G-7 Targets Environmental Crimes in Push for Greater Disclosure
Emissions rise from smokestacks and cooling towers in China. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

G-7 Targets Environmental Crimes in Push for Greater Disclosure

The Group of Seven nations targeted environmental crimes with a move to push companies into disclosing the impact they have on the climate.

Finance ministers from the G-7 meeting in London agreed for the first time to embed climate-change considerations into their decision making. They also expanded the work of a money laundering and corruption watchdog to root out crimes against the planet.

The moves stopped short of the U.K. ambition to get G-7 firmer backing for mandatory reporting of climate risks by companies, something central bankers and green groups have said will force investors to focus on how moves to curb fossil fuel use will impact their holdings.

G-7 Targets Environmental Crimes in Push for Greater Disclosure

Instead, the group highlighted U.K. efforts to spur disclosure and set up a taskforce on nature-related financial disclosures, which will mirror the work of a separate group pressing for details on climate-related risk.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said on Twitter he’s “thrilled that the G-7 nations have agreed to follow the U.K.’s example.”

The goal is to shed light on the activities of companies in the hope that the information will help policy makers, green groups and investors bring pressure to bear on executives to clean up pollution and stop harmful practices.

The environmental crimes initiative would tackle illicit finance and activities like illegal logging and wildlife tracking. The U.K. said the measures would help create a registry of company officials and corporate entities, helping expose the ultimate owners of those who are encouraging crime.

The initiative also handed authority over environmental crimes to the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental group of more than 200 countries and jurisdictions sharing infomation to tackle corruption, money laundering and terrorism.

The G-7 countries encouraged further consultation on a final proposal leading to the establishment of an International Sustainability Standards board ahead of COP26, a United Nations gathering scheduled for November to discuss climate change.

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso had said before the G-7 meetings that the country plans to make corporate governance code reforms that will request listed firms to disclose climate risks in accordance with TCFD’s guidelines.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the founder and majority shareholder of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is the chair of Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosures.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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