In June 2021 the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) called on the IFRS Foundation to urgently establish a global baseline of investor-focused sustainability reporting standards to improve the consistency, comparability and reliability of sustainability-related financial disclosures.
The IFRS Foundation announced the establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in November 2021; in June 2023 the ISSB issued its inaugural Standards – IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures.
We are delighted that IOSCO has now endorsed these Standards.
The positive outcome from IOSCO’s comprehensive review of the Standards sends a strong signal to jurisdictions around the world that the ISSB Standards are fit for purpose for capital market use.
IOSCO is calling on its 130 member jurisdictions—capital market authorities that regulate more than 95% of the world’s securities markets—to consider ways in which they might implement the ISSB Standards.
IOSCO’s endorsement is a critical milestone, encouraging jurisdictions from all over the world to adopt IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. However, the road to securing consistent high-quality and globally comparable sustainability-related disclosures does not end here.
The IFRS Foundation is committed to supporting regulators around the world in adopting the Standards in a timely and consistent manner. Much of this work will be done in partnership with IOSCO.
In due course, the IFRS Foundation will complete its Adoption Guide to support jurisdictions in their adoption of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2.
With jurisdictions around the world already starting to consult on proposals and pathways to adopt IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 and introduce them into regulatory frameworks, we share this high-level roadmap to provide transparency as to how the IFRS Foundation and the ISSB are approaching adoption considerations, as a precursor to the Adoption Guide itself.
This document outlines the mechanisms that the IFRS Foundation and the ISSB are working on to support regulatory implementation, as well as steps that have already been taken such as building proportionality mechanisms and transition reliefs into the Standards.
Our strategy to support jurisdictions in their journeys towards adoption focuses on four strategic pillars: proportionality, transitional reliefs, consistency in approaches on the phasing-in and scaling of requirements, and capacity building that supports implementation.
This strategy balances addressing initial implementation challenges faced by preparers and the differing starting points and level of preparedness of jurisdictions with the need to deliver the consistency and comparability required by capital markets.
The design and delivery of a capacity building programme will deepen understanding and capabilities for the implementation of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2. We will also develop robust mechanisms to monitor progress in the adoption of these standards in jurisdictions.
We are at a critical juncture in the delivery of the global baseline of sustainability-related financial disclosures.
The timely endorsement of the ISSB Standards from IOSCO; the decision from the Financial Stability Board to disband the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and to ask the IFRS Foundation to take over the monitoring of the progress on companies’ climate-related disclosures; and the steps jurisdictions around the world are embarking on towards regulation of sustainability disclosure demonstrates the continued strong support for our work.
The goal is comparability and consistency of sustainability-related disclosures for capital markets globally. Our roadmap to adoption is focused on ensuring this is delivered through widespread adoption of both IFRS S1 and IFRS S2. The growing prevalence of the effects of sustainability-related risks and opportunities around the world are a reminder to us all of why we cannot delay.