Treasury sets up Transition Plan Taskforce to assist corporate climate disclosure
The Treasury has unveiled a new Taskforce to oversee the development of a “gold standard” for climate transition plans for UK companies, a pledge that was made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak at COP26.
HM Treasury has this week launched the UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT), following the pledge from Sunak at COP26 to “rewire the global financial system for net-zero” through plans on sovereign green bonds and corporate climate disclosures.
Sunak confirmed that a mandate for all large businesses and public enterprises to develop net-zero transition plans by the end of 2024 will be introduced. Sunak claimed this should be supported and adopted by all major economies with a net-zero target in law.
The UK Government reiterated the recent publication of the Roadmap to Sustainable Investing, which confirms that transition plans will be mandated for large firms in high-emitting sectors. From 2023, large businesses in high-emitting sectors will need to meet this requirement.
Sunak also confirmed that the UK Government has developed a science-based ‘gold-standard’ verification scheme for the plans, to safeguard against greenwashing. This scheme has been drawn up in collaboration with industry representatives, academics, regulators and civil society groups.
This week, the Treasury has confirmed the members of the TPT, which is tasked with developing a “gold standard” for these transition plans.
The TPT will be led by a steering group of business leaders, and will be co-chaired by Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen Aviva’s chief executive Amanda Blanc. A supporting group has also been set up, consisting of representatives from the likes of Unilever, NatWest and Orsted.
The TPT will develop guidance for financial institutions and listed companies to help create transition plans, with a two-year mandate in place. The TPT will also inform the implementation of the UK’s Sustainability Disclosure Requirements.
CDP’s chief impact officer Nicolette Bartlett notes that in 2021, more than 4,000 companies have reportedly developed a low-carbon transition plan. “Whilst this is a positive step, a large majority of these companies’ transition plans will not be science-based, nor effectively tracked in a manner that would allow stakeholders to assess progress for use as an accountability mechanism,” Bartlett wrote in a blog for edie.
As an initial step in gathering consensus behind transition plans, CDP has produced a discussion paper on climate transition plans. This publication aims to offer a definition for climate transition plans, principles to factor in whilst establishing a plan, and some of the key metrics to include.
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