In 2019, CDP released a Global Climate Change Report which explored TCFD-aligned disclosures in the 2018 reporting cycle and provided key insights into the potential financial implications of climate change. The report identified, through corporate disclosures, that the benefits of climate action far outstrip the costs of doing so, and the risks associated with inaction will be detrimental to the global economy.
Following on from CDP’s 2019 report, this series explores key G7 indexes. The series focuses on the corporates within each index that disclosed via CDP’s 2021 Climate Change Questionnaire and will not look beyond by assessing external financial filings or mainstream reports.
Analysis of the indexes from G7 countries and a Europe-wide Index (representing 17 European countries) reveals significant shortfalls in TCFD aligned disclosure amongst corporates. None of the indices had more than 19% of corporates achieving 100% TCFD-aligned disclosure when disclosing through CDP’s platform.
A key gap that spans across all the indices is the lack of disclosure on how climate-related information is fed into a corporate’s strategy. Companies continue to perform poorly in terms of risk management, suggesting that they do not have sufficient processes in place to assess and manage climate risk.
Read the initial insight to set the scene of how different indexes are performing against the TCFD, before a deep dive into index-specific insights.
In 2021, 400 companies (80%) from the S&P 500 index, worth over US$28.2 trillion in market capitalization, responded to CDP’s climate change questionnaire. This analysis explores the alignment of the disclosures with the recommendations of the TCFD and additionally provide insights into the reported financial impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities.
A landmark development in the United States is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) announcement of its proposed climate disclosure rule. The SEC’s rule largely tracks the TCFD recommendations and S&P 500 companies providing a high-quality disclosure through CDP are well prepared for the SEC requirements. The number of CDP climate change disclosers from the index have increased about 10% over the last five years.
In 2021, 225 companies (64%) listed on the FTSE 350 index, representing a market capitalization of over US$2.5 trillion, responded to CDP’s climate change questionnaire. This insight piece investigates the disclosing organizations’ alignment with the recommendations of the TCFD and the reported financial impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities.
In April 2022, the UK mandated TCFD-aligned disclosure for the country’s largest traded businesses, banks, and insurers. This will help financial decision makers in understanding businesses’ financial exposure to climate-related risks through clear, comprehensive, and consistent information. Inadequate information about risks can lead to mispricing of assets and misallocation of capital that can potentially lead to concerns about the stability of financial markets and their vulnerability to abrupt corrections.
Additionally, this insight piece looked into the disclosers’ transition plans using a set of CDP indicators. This is in response to the UK government’s announcement to mandate transition plans for listed companies and financial institutions by 2023.
In 2021, 503 companies (84%) listed on the STOXX Europe 600 index, representing a market capitalization of over US$11 trillion, responded to CDP’s climate change questionnaire. This analysis looks at the disclosing organizations’ alignment with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and the reported financial impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities.
Evaluating the TCFD alignment of companies listed on this European index is particularly relevant because in April 2021, the European Commission issued a proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The CSRD will ensure that companies publicly disclose the climate-related risks and opportunities they face as well as the impact their business has on the environment. Company disclosures under the CSRD will need to be in line with the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) which are being developed in alignment with existing standards and frameworks like the TCFD. Large companies are anticipated to be required to start reporting under the directive as early as 2024.