The launch of a market-led Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) was announced today.
The stated proposed goal of the TNFD is to provide a framework for non-financial corporates and financial institutions to “report and act on evolving nature-related risks, in order to support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes”.
The intention is to launch and disseminate a final framework in 2023 that will complement the framework of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), “to give companies and financial institutions a complete picture of their environmental risks”.
The initiative to bring together a TNFD was formally announced in July 2020, with the beginnings of the idea for it traced back to a 2019 World Economic Forum Davos meeting.
In September 2020 an informal working group – comprising 74 members across banks, asset managers, regulators, governments, corporates and others – was formed and it today released a proposed scope and workplan.
This paved the way for the announcement of two co-chairs of the TNFD today: David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv and group leader of data and analytics division at London Stock Exchange Group, and Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
According to its developers, the TNFD will consist of around 30 members, with an equal representation of financial institutions, corporates and data/service providers from developed and emerging markets.
TCFD similarities, differences
The informal working group has proposed that the TNFD framework adopt a four-pillar approach, following the same structure used by the TCFD. However, “in recognition of the particular challenges of measuring nature, broader policy and market developments, and the systemic nature of the risk”, the proposal is for the TNFD to incorporate a broader definition of the term ‘risks and opportunities’ into each pillar.
“We recommend the use of the term ‘nature-related risks and opportunities’ to broadly refer to the risks and opportunities to an organization posed by the linkages between its activities and nature.
The deputy governor of the Banque de France and a UK minister plus the CEOs of BNP Paribas and AXA Group were among those endorsing the TNFD today.
In its recommendations report, the informal working group mentions that in contrast to the “climate space”, where better corporate disclosures were at the centre of the solution to the data challenge, for nature-related risks satellite data may also play a significant role in closing data gaps.
Biodiversity has been moving up the regulatory and finance sector agenda in recent years, with APG, BNP Paribas Asset Management, and Robeco examples of investors grappling with the topic. Tools are being developed to help support investor analysis.
Sylvie Goulard, deputy governor of the Banque de France, said: “The TNFD’s work on nature-related risks will be an important complement to the work already done on climate-related risks. Biodiversity is a systemic challenge and having a global platform for collaboration across private actors, international organisations, public authorities and NGOs is essential.
“The TNFD will support the development of more reliable and comparable nature-related data, which is critical to promote sustainable investments.”
Craig, TNFD co-chair, said: “Without urgent action, ongoing loss to biodiversity poses unprecedented risks for business, both now and in the future. Better nature-related data that enables informed decision-making by financial institutions and companies is how we will solve the global ecological crisis.”