G-7 targets environmental crimes for greater disclosure


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(Bloomberg) – The Group of Seven Nations have targeted environmental crimes in an attempt to push companies to disclose their impact on the climate.

Finance ministers at the G-7 meeting in London agreed for the first time to integrate climate change considerations into their decision-making. They also expanded the work of a money laundering and corruption watchdog to stamp out crimes against the planet.

The measures have failed to meet the UK’s ambition to secure stronger G-7 support for mandatory reporting of climate risks by companies, which central bankers and green groups say will require investors to focus on the impact of measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels on their holdings.

Instead, the group highlighted the UK’s efforts to boost disclosure and set up a working group on nature-related financial disclosures, which will mirror the work of a separate group asking for details on climate-related risks.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said on Twitter that he was “delighted that the G-7 countries have agreed to follow the UK’s lead.”

The aim is to shed light on the activities of companies in the hope that this information will help policymakers, environmental groups and investors to pressure leaders to clean up and end harmful practices.

The environmental crimes initiative would tackle illicit financing and activities such as illegal logging and wildlife tracking. The UK said the measures would help create a register of business executives and legal persons, helping to expose the ultimate owners of those who encourage crime.

The initiative also handed authority over environmental crimes to the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental group of more than 200 countries and jurisdictions sharing information to fight corruption, money laundering and terrorism.

G-7 countries urged continued consultations on a final proposal leading to the creation of an international sustainability standards council ahead of COP26, a UN meeting scheduled for November to discuss climate change.

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso had said ahead of the G-7 meetings that the country was planning to reform the corporate governance code that would require listed companies to disclose climate risks in line with TCFD guidelines.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder and majority shareholder of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is the chair of the Working Group for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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