A ‘proof of concept’ version of a planned free, global standardised source of company-level emissions data was presented on the third day of COP28. A consultation will run until March.

The proof of concept for the Net Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU) was unveiled by French President Emmanuel Macron, and billionaire and UN Secretary-General Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, Michael Bloomberg.

The idea is that the NZDPU will be the first global central source of emissions data that streamlines and consolidates data from different sources into a consistent format, freely accessible to all. So far there is data from 400 companies on the portal.

“The NZDPU will ultimately provide financial institutions with the accessible, high-quality, and comparable data needed to invest in the net-zero transition”

Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and co-chair of GFANZ

“Closing the data gap requires consistent, comprehensive, and decision-useful climate disclosure,” said Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and co-chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).

“GFANZ sees this proof of concept as a welcome milestone in developing the NZDPU, which will ultimately provide financial institutions with the accessible, high-quality, and comparable data needed to develop transition plans and invest in the net-zero transition.”

Support for ISSB

The move to provide greater consistency and structure for the data that companies report comes as the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) will be applied by thousands of EU companies from 2024 onwards and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)’s new reporting standards take effect from 1 January next year.

Today at COP28 close to 400 organisations from 64 jurisdictions announced their support for the ISSB standards, committing to advancing the adoption or use of the climate-reporting standard at global level. More than 70 institutional investors signed, in addition to investor membership groups gathering investors with more than $120trn in assets under management, ISSB said.

The proof of concept for the NZDPU includes a section where users can preview how data disclosed under these disclosure standards will be structured and presented.

Net zero policy taskforce

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has joined forces with other sustainable finance actors to launch a group focused on aligning global policy with net zero emission goals.

Launched at COP28 on Sunday, the Taskforce on Net Zero Policy is to focus on ensuring that 1.5°C-aligned net zero emissions commitments by non-state actors are underpinned by “coherent policies and regulatory certainty”.

The group’s formation is a response to one of the recommendations from the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, which last year also released guidance on credible net zero transition plans to “prevent net zero from being undermined by false claims, ambiguity and greenwash”.

Constituents of the new Taskforce include the PRI, the UN Environment Program – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the International Sustainability Standards Board, and others.

“It’s never been more vital that we see the global architecture reorient itself in support of net zero,” said David Atkin, chief executive officer of the PRI, which will act as the taskforce secretariat.

‘Turbo charging’ climate finance capacity building in EM

Also at COP28 so far, a new network has been announced that has the aim of “turbocharging” capacity building and technical assistance for climate finance for financial institutions in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs).

Described as “unprecedented”, the Global Capacity Building Coalition brings together UN agencies, multilateral development banks, standard setters and the private sector.

Chaired by Mary Shapiro, chair of the committee behind the NZDPU and vice chair of GFANZ, the coalition is said to mark the first time such a broad group of leading actors in climate finance capacity building have come together to work collaboratively to extend support for EMDEs.

Top multilateral development banks and other international organisations at COP28 also signed a joint declaration and launched a group to boost sustainability-linked sovereign financing for nature and climate. The Task Force on Credit Enhancement of Sustainability-Linked Sovereign Financing for Nature and Climate will be led by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), both of which have been involved in the recent debt conversion deals.

Separately, Nordic countries and the US launched a new blended finance collaboration aimed at mobilising up to $500m in private capital for climate adaptation, with a particular focus on Africa. Dubbed the Investment Mobilisation Collaboration Arrangement (IMCA), it will work with an asset owner advisory board for technical support on scoping of possible transactions and private finance incentives, and then engage with leading asset managers on calls for blended finance vehicle origination and asset owners for financial pledges.

IOSCO consults on carbon market integrity, functioning

The umbrella group for national securities regulators has launched a consultation on “a set of good practices to promote the integrity and orderly functioning of the voluntary carbon markets”.

In its consultation report, IOSCO said its work was not focussed on the environmental integrity of these markets but that its proposals were intended to support “sound market structures and enhance financial integrity such that carbon credits can be traded in an orderly and transparent way”.

The consultation paper comes after the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), the main standard setter for the voluntary carbon markets last week released additional guidance to its code for how corporates can make credible claims about their use of carbon credits.

IOSCO’s consultation runs until 3 March 2024.

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