The UK government on Thursday will detail plans to safeguard the City of London’s future under a post-Brexit agenda that requires companies to disclose their impact on the climate.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak will vow to “make this country the world’s most advanced and exciting financial services hub for decades to come”, according to Treasury excerpts of a speech he is to deliver.
Key to the plans are “Integrated Sustainability Disclosures Requirements”, which will apply to all UK-listed companies, the Treasury said.
The requirements will mandate companies to report risks posed by climate change to their assets and investments, as well as their own impact on the environment.
Bigger companies are already reporting such climate-related exposure, and energy giants BP and Shell have set out targets to cut their carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2050.
Their net zero plans are in line with the UK government’s own target, as it steps up a raft of green announcements ahead of hosting the UN COP26 climate summit in November.
But experts worry that without a government-imposed standard, companies are free to report contradictory climate goals and asset risks.
Ahead of Sunak’s speech in London, the UK government also revealed details of a new green bond which it hopes can unlock some of the large savings that Britons have amassed during the Covid pandemic.
The Treasury aims to raise at least £15 billion ($21 billion) through the bonds, to invest in zero-emission buses, offshore wind and efforts to decarbonise homes and buildings.
Sunak’s speech comes after he secured a new financial and regulatory partnership with Singapore, part of a drive to reach out to other financial hubs as “Global Britain” seeks new opportunities after Brexit.
Under the agreement, the Treasury and Singapore’s authorities will consult when planning to introduce new financial services regulation that affects each other.
“Our financial partnership will help increase investment and trade with Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region, and boost collaboration on important areas such as fintech and green finance,” Sunak said.
A month ago, Singapore, Japan and other members of a pan-Pacific trade group known as TPP-11 agreed to start the process for Britain to sign up, now that it is free to forge its own deals outside the EU.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)