Joint initiative by wealthy nations aims to tackle environmental crimes
London — The Group of Seven (G7) nations are targeting environmental crimes with a move to push companies into disclosing the effect they have on the climate.
Finance ministers from the G7 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 UK ambition to get G7 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 affect their holdings.
Instead, the group highlighted UK efforts to spur disclosure and set up a task force on nature-related financial disclosures, which will mirror the work of a separate group pressing for details on climate-related risk.
UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said on Twitter he was “thrilled that the G7 nations have agreed to follow the UK’s example”.
The goal is to shed light on the activities of companies in the hope the information will help policymakers, 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 such as illegal logging and wildlife tracking. The UK 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 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), an inter-governmental group of more than 200 countries and jurisdictions sharing information to tackle corruption, money laundering and terrorism.
The G7 countries encouraged further consultation on a final proposal leading to the establishment of an International Sustainability Standards board ahead of COP26, a UN gathering scheduled for November to discuss climate change.
Japan finance minister Taro Aso had said before the G7 meetings that the country plans to make corporate governance code reforms that will request listed firms to disclose climate risks in accordance with the TCFD’s guidelines.
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