Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has welcomed the launch of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework, and said it will now weigh up the best way to use it in its ownership and portfolio work.
Carine Smith Ihenacho, chief governance and compliance officer at the NOK15.3trn (€1.33trn) fund’s manager Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), said: “We welcome the launch of the TNFD as a step change for nature-related financial disclosures globally.”
NBIM said it had been actively involved with the TNFD as a taskforce member since it was launched in 2021.
Smith Ihenacho said contributing to initiatives like the TNFD was a key part of NBIM’s work to bolster sustainability standards across the global markets where the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) invested.
Snorre Gjerde, lead investment stewardship manager and member of the taskforce, said: “As we now move from creation mode to implementation mode, we will actively consider how to best utilise the TNFD framework in our ownership activities and in our portfolio analysis.”
In the UK, the chair of the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, Philip Dunne, called for the government to consider making TNFD framework compulsory for companies.
“Nature in the UK is in a worrying state of decline: Of the G7 countries, the UK has the lowest level of biodiversity remaining,” said Dunne, a Conservative member of the UK parliament.
This was why he welcomed the framework, he said, adding that in its 2021 report on UK biodiversity, the committee said the financial sector needed to play its part in nature recovery.
“At present, financial institutions and systems around the world are tilted against nature, with too many assets exploiting the very things nature depend on,” said Dunne.
He said the UK government was “leading the way” through imminent implementation of the Biodiversity Net Gain legislation.
“It should consider making these latest rules mandatory for companies,” he said, adding: “We are in a nature emergency and the rules need teeth.”
Dunne said it was excellent news that UK pharmaceuticals multinational GSK had said it planned to publish its disclosures, adding that he hoped other British firms followed suit.
The committee is to look further at the TNFD in its upcoming inquiry on ”The role of natural capital in the green economy” he said.
Meanwhile, James Alexander, chief executive officer of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), said the body was optimistic that the finalised TNFD framework could “encourage more meaningful corporate disclosure of nature-related risks and opportunities and help investors support projects which benefit nature”.
He said the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) should now turn its attention to introducing “comparable and decision-useful” disclosure standards for biodiversity and ecosystem services, drawing heavily on the TNFD’s finalised framework.
“A new biodiversity-specific standard will better support our members to address the financial risks posed by damage to the world’s biodiversity,” the UKSIF CEO said.