IOSCO sets out vision for global assurance framework

Two other international standard setters praise the report; IASB announces a project exploring link between company financial statements and climate risks.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has set out its vision for a global assurance framework for sustainability-related corporate reporting in a new report. The report summarises insights from IOSCO's fact-finding work on assurance over sustainability-related information, elaborating on priority areas highlighted in IOSCO's September 2022 statement.

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) welcome the report, the boards said in a news release, saying that it "reflects extensive research and feedback from key stakeholders."

IOSCO encourages the entire sustainability reporting ecosystem to consider this report as it readies for new international sustainability-related reporting standards, and associated assurance over sustainability-related information, the report said.

IASB commences project on climate-related risks

In response to stakeholder feedback, the IASB has started a project to explore whether and how companies' financial statements can provide better information about climate-related risks.

"The outcomes of this project will depend on the causes of stakeholder concerns," a news release said. "This is a maintenance project, so any outcomes will be narrow in scope — for example minor amendments to IASB standards, limited new application guidance, or new illustrative examples."

FRC publishes 3-year plan

The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published its latest three-year plan, outlining priorities and objectives for 2023-2026. The plan provides a detailed breakdown of intended expenditure for that period and a summary of the expected trajectory of overall costs and headcount for the following two years.

"The FRC anticipates an increase of £6.5m in its overall costs [over the next year], reflecting a delay in the creation of the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA), and has re-prioritised its work to focus on changes that can be made using its existing powers and remit and where appropriate, planning for the creation of new ARGA powers and functions," a news release said.

UK updates green finance strategy

The UK government has updated its green finance strategy, a policy paper said. The publication released this week reflects changes to its 2019 approach.

The updated strategy "aims to strengthen the UK's position at the forefront of the rapidly growing global green finance market, while driving private investment to deliver energy security, net zero and environmental objectives," the paper said.

The updated strategy, according to the government, "sets out our framework for the UK to become the world's first net zero aligned financial centre, outlining how we will ensure market participants have the information and tools they need to align our climate and nature goals."

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