Respondents to IPSASB’s May 2022 consultation paper on Advancing Public Sector Sustainability Reporting agreed that the public sector urgently needs its own sustainability reporting standards and that the IPSASB, with its 25 years of standard setting experience, should lead their development.

Public sector specific sustainability reporting standards will equip governments and other public sector entities to provide better transparency, accountability, and comparability of their efforts to combat the climate crisis and other sustainability challenges. 

Following a scoping and research phase, the IPSASB has decided to move forward with the development of a public sector specific Climate-Related Disclosures standard and has published a project brief for this major new piece of work. Reporting on climate change is one of the most important issues in sustainability reporting, which also encompasses environmental, social and governance issues. 

IPSASB chair Ian Carruthers “The IPSASB’s decision to develop a public sector specific Climate-Related Disclosures standard is a huge first step in addressing the public sector’s need for sustainability reporting standards. The Board is delighted to be able to respond to stakeholder calls in this way and hopes to be able to initiate other projects in this critical area in the coming months.” 

With this launch, the IPSASB will establish a Climate-related Topic Working Group to provide climate-related expertise and advice to support delivery of the project. The IPSASB will also set up a Sustainability Reference Group to provide advice on its overall sustainability reporting standards development program.  

Global community engagement is essential to developing sustainability reporting standards for the public sector. The IPSASB continues to seek support for its sustainability reporting standards development program and requires additional resources to be able to scale up its efforts and move with pace.

Earlier this week, the Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) elected Fabienne Colignon as its chair to lead its advisory efforts for the next three years.