Letter from new TNFD Co-Chairs announcing the launch of the TNFD

Dear colleagues and supporters of the TNFD,

It is with great pride that we write to you today as the newly announced Co-Chairs of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures.

As we begin our new roles, we’d like to thank each of the organisations and individuals who have worked to bring together the TNFD.

The initiative to bring together a Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures was first announced in July 2020. Since then, an Informal Working Group, comprised of 74 Members across 24 countries – including financial institutions, corporates, governments, regulators, multilaterals, NGOs and consortiums – has worked to propose the practical recommendations for the scope and workplan of the TNFD that are released today. This informal group was skilfully co-chaired by three market-leaders: Antoine Sire from BNP Paribas, Mariuz Calvet from Banorte, and Rhian-Mari Thomas from the Green Finance Institute.

We must also pay special thanks to the informal Technical Expert Group, which has provided invaluable support to the Informal Working Group.

We’d like to pay tribute to their work, as well as the contributions of the four founding partners of the initiative bringing together a TNFD – Global Canopy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and WWF – who have been instrumental in shaping the global, market-led and ambitious TNFD that we are proud to be joining as Co-Chairs.

Delivering on the ambitions for the TNFD will require significant and complex work, but we are optimistic that we can deliver a practical and impactful framework by 2023, which can ultimately support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and towards nature-positive outcomes. As Co-Chairs of the TNFD, we look forward to applying our decades of combined experience operating at the intersection of business and nature to this critical challenge.

Today marks a number of milestones for the initiative, as the TNFD formally launches and we release two new reports which will offer a compass to the TNFD and help guide our work.

Nature in Scope‘ – published today via the recently updated official TNFD website – details the TNFD’s ambition to deliver a new framework for organisations to report and act upon evolving nature-related risks and opportunities. A complementary report sets out the proposed technical scope for the TNFD.

Furthermore, the Taskforce aims to consult with a variety of stakeholders from all regions – to develop and build on voluntary, consistent disclosures to help corporates, investors, lenders and insurance underwriters manage nature-related risks, such as new legal liabilities, systemic loss of soil fertility or plastic in the world’s oceans.

In its first year, the TNFD aims to build upon the success of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which has become instrumental in mainstreaming the issue of climate-related financial risks. The TNFD’s framework for nature-related risks will complement the TCFD’s climate-related framework, to give companies and financial institutions a broader picture of their environmental risks.

But while the TNFD builds on the successful TCFD, the new nature-focused Taskforce faces unique challenges: when it comes to data, metrics and methodologies, there are critical differences between climate and nature.

Measuring and disclosing nature-related risks is an even more complex challenge than it is for climate-related risks. A key challenge is that, unlike for climate, it is not just what your activities are, but where they are, which matters, which means having more location-specific data from corporates will be part of the solution.

Improving corporate disclosures will also only be one of many levers to close the data gap on nature-related financial risks. In the climate space, better corporate disclosures were at the centre of the solution to the data challenge. Satellite data may also play a significant role in closing data gaps on nature-related risks.

As the TNFD kicks off its work over the coming months, the challenge is to learn from what’s worked for climate, while carefully considering how nature requires a different approach.

We believe that better information will empower corporates and financial institutions to channel investments to more sustainable opportunities and business models. This in turn has the potential to turn the tide of nature loss worldwide.

Over the coming months we look forward to updating you on the progress of the TNFD as we appoint our secretariat and the Taskforce members and move forward with many foundational initiatives. We have many mountains to climb, but with your support – we know we can conquer them all.

Best wishes,

David Craig & Elizabeth Maruma Mrema

Photo credit: Jonathan Glynn Smith