Federal policymaking and regulation with respect to investor risk and opportunity is a complicated story played out over almost a century. The modern era of laws passed/rules adopted to implement got underway in earnest in 1933 and 1934 following the October 1929 “Black Tuesday” stock market crash and subsequent failure of Wall Street firms and banks. The Securities Act of 1933 and The Exchange Act of 1934 are the solid foundations of most of the investor protection laws and rules that have followed.
As he assumed the post of the highest elected public officer of the United States, President Joseph Biden characterized his [as the] “Climate Administration” and immediately (the fabled Day One actions) set out a very ambitious “climate crisis” policy agenda for action by the many arms of the Federal government agencies under his control. (Notably, all cabinet offices with their great reach.)
The public discourse about the current (and future) state of corporate sustainability / ESG disclosure and reporting continues to steadily expand, especially in Europe and North America, Asia, and other regions. What new or expanded accounting standards might be developed to create more harmony in corporate disclosures? To establish more comparability, standardization and credibility for public company reporting?
Corporate sustainability / ESG reporting -- What to disclose? How to frame the disclosures (context matters!)? What frameworks or standards to use? Questions, questions, and more questions for corporate managers to consider as ESG disclosures steadily expand.
There are now many more lively discussions going on about corporate ESG / sustainability et al public disclosures and structured reporting practices -- and the growing complexity of all this, resulting often in disclosure fatigue for practitioners!
About Sustainable / or ESG Investing: We have traveled a far distance over the past four decades, beginning with “ethical” and “faith-based” and the more frequent “socially responsible investing” (SRI), morphing over time into “sustainable & responsible investing” (still SRI for the traditionalist) and on to “ESG investing”. And now to… how about “investing”? That is, just plain investing, as our friend and colleague Erika Karp, CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group has been long saying.
Setting the Pace & Shaping the 2021 Sustainability Conversation
At the beginning of the calendar year, the CEO of the world’s largest asset management firms sends his annual “guidance” missive to the Chief Executive Officers of publicly-traded firms. Here is where we stand, here is what we expect, is the tone set by this global manager of investors’ assets.
On January 20, 2021, the transfer of power in the Executive Branch went forward, according to the Constitution of the United States of America, and President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris assumed the offices of the highest elected officials in the nation.
This will be the “climate administration,” President Biden has declared. And within a week a comprehensive “whole of government” approach was announced, with sweeping changes that present both risk and opportunity to the corporate community and the capital markets.
Countries around the world are tuning in and exploring ways to guide companies to report on ever more important climate related disclosures. Embracing of the Task Force recommendations is a key policy move by governments.
After the 2008 global financial crisis, the major economies that are member-nations of the “G20” formed the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to serve a think tank and forum for the world’s leading developed countries to develop strong regulatory, supervisory, and other financial sector policies.
Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the great promise of the 21st Century – the Paris Accord. Can you believe, it is now five years on (260 weeks or so this December) since the meeting in the “City of Lights” of the Conference of Parties (“COP 21”, a/k/a the U.N. Paris Climate Conference). This was the 21st meeting of the global assemblage focused on climate change challenges.