Pan-European stock exchange Euronext, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) in Belgium, the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) and the Belgian minister of finance signed their statement of support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) at a bell ringing ceremony at Euronext Brussels presided over by TCFD Chair and UN special envoy for climate action Michael R. Bloomberg.
The statement of support was signed by Euronext Brussels CEO Vincent Van Dessel, minister of finance of Belgium Johan Van Overtveldt, FSMA chairman Jean-Paul Servais and NBB vice-governor Pierre Wunsch.
The ceremony coincided with the High-level conference: Financing sustainable growth (HLC) organised by the European Commission in Brussels. The HLC was arranged with the focus of how the finance industry can work alongside the EU to develop a sustainable economy and to present the European Commission’s Action plan and to arrange a follow-up.
The European Commission's Action Plan on Sustainable Finance specifically proposes incorporating the TCFD recommendations into the evolving EU corporate disclosure and reporting regime.
Including the Belgian endorsements 252 companies and 37 other organizations have publicly expressed their support, including four governments and 23 financial regulators. The 252 companies have a combined market capitalisation of over $6.6 trillion. This includes over 160 financial firms, responsible for assets of over $86.2 trillion.
Bloomberg commented: “More transparency will drive capital to companies that are mitigating risks posed by climate change and capitalizing on the opportunities it presents. Businesses have strong incentives to lead the way on climate change, and better data will help them do more and act faster. I want to thank all of the Belgian leaders who joined our growing coalition today.”
Van Overtveldt said: “We need to support the creation of the right market infrastructure to finance the battle against climate change and pollution. A few weeks ago, our government set the example by launching our first green bond here in Belgium for a total amount of €4.5bn.
“The financial sector should incorporate the costs related to climate change and pollution in their own models of credit and market risks.”
By Joe Pickard