April 2021 Newsletter
In short: The four workstreams of the Informal Working Group finalise documents, the informal Technical Expert Group finalises scope of the TNFD, and the UN Deputy Secretary-General endorses the TNFD, remarking it will ‘catalyse shifting of financial flows’.
Highlights of the month
The four workstreams of the Informal Working Group (IWG) finalise documents
Over the last seven months, the 74 members of the Informal Working Group (IWG) have been working across four different workstreams: WS1 Governance, leadership and membership, WS2 Work Plan and Budget, WS3 Resourcing, and WS4 Advocacy and Communication. Additionally, an informal Technical Expert Group that supports the IWG has been working on the TNFD scope (see below). The workstreams are in the last stretch of finalising their recommendations from the IWG to the TNFD itself, which will launch later this year. The consolidated recommendations from the workstreams will be presented to the incoming TNFD Chair/s in the TNFD blueprint. Furthermore, preparation for transitioning from IWG to the TNFD is under way.
The IWG’s informal Technical Expert Group finalise the scope for the TNFD
Alongside the four workstreams of the IWG, a fifth workstream tasked with defining the scope of TNFD is led by the IWG’s informal Technical Expert Group. The 12 technical experts that make up the group have now finalised the draft paper of the scope, after a round of productive stakeholder consultations this spring with the Observer Group and further deep dives with corporates, standards groups, financial institutions, data providers and NGOs. This week the IWG is in the midst of reviewing the scope.
UN Deputy Secretary-General endorses the TNFD
Speaking at the High-Level event on Raising Ambition for Nature, UN Deputy SecretaryGeneral Amina Mohammed said: “We are also supporting the establishment of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures. Working with many financial institutions, businesses and Member States, this Taskforce will catalyse shifting of financial flows, so they become nature-positive.” You can watch the full event recording here. In September 2020, the UN Secretary General also voiced his support for the TNFD.
Knowledge Bank on the new TNFD website continues to expand
The new website hosts an ever-expanding Knowledge Bank with lots of resources relevant to the TNFD initiative, as well as an events page highlighting the events that address nature and finance, amongst other new interactive features. Get in touch to share relevant events or cutting-edge tools and resources on nature and finance by emailing [email protected].
Join the TNFD conversation on social media
To stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on Twitter @TNFD_ and LinkedIn @Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) .
Opportunities to join initiatives and events
- 11 May: PRI Digital Forum: Joining the dots: Investor action on Climate and Nature. Speakers – including Margaret Kuhlow, WWF Global Finance Practice Lead – will draw together climate change and biodiversity loss as two critically important topics and highlight some of the approaches investors can take to achieve progress on both fronts.
- 11-12 May Valuing Nature: Better Assessing Financial Risk. During this workshop, participants will detail how science-based data can augment traditional risk systems to provide insights for the sustainable financing of natural capital. Dr. Susanne Schmitt and David Patterson from WWF UK are among the speakers.
- 20 May: Briefing Afternoon: Biodiversity. Environmental Finance is hosting a briefing afternoon event, which will consider the main challenges for valuing and preserving nature when making investment decisions.
- 26 May: Aligning Financial Portfolios with Biodiversity Goals. Join Global Canopy, UNEP FI and UNEP WCMC for the launch of a new biodiversity module – part of the online ENCORE tool – which will enable financial institutions to identify and manage biodiversity-related risks and opportunities.
- 26-27 May: Positive Banking Conference: Banking for People and Planet. The conference will include a session on the TNFD. You can see the agenda, speakers and register here.
- 27 May: BusinessGreen Net Zero Nature. Speakers include Rhian-Mari Thomas, cochair of the IWG and CEO of the Green Finance Institute; Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI; Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF UK; and Sir Partha Dasgupta, lead author of the Dasgupta Review of the Economics of Biodiversity. You can see the full speaker line up and agenda here.
- Save the date: 17-18 June: The Financial Sector and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The virtual event will be hosted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. You can register here.
- New date announced: 11-24 October: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15. Originally scheduled for 2020 and since postponed to May 2021, the global UN Biodiversity Conference has been moved again: the event is now planned for 11-24 October 2021 in Kunming, China.
Relevant content released this month
- WWF (April 29) Introducing SUSREG: A framework for sustainable financial regulation and central bank activity. This report introduces a framework to support central banks, financial regulators and supervisors in enhancing the financial sector’s stability and resilience to climate-related and broader environmental and social risks.
- OMFIF Sustainable Policy Institute (29 April) Designing a financial system that responds to the climate threat and promotes a healthy planet. In this podcast, Margaret Kuhlow, WWF’s Global Finance Practice Lead, discusses how finance can be a powerful tool for addressing climate change and how biodiversity considerations and ecosystem services can be at the forefront of risk assessments and investment impact metrics.
- Environmental Finance (28 April) Make nature-related financial disclosures mandatory, says Hank Paulson. The article summarises comments from Hank Paulson, former US Treasury Secretary, former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and founder of the Paulson Institute, calling for stronger government action on nature, especially linked to public subsidies and disclosure requirements.
- Fitch Ratings (28 April) Collaboration and Standardisation Key to Halting Biodiversity Loss. This short article argues stronger coordination across all stakeholders is needed to tackle biodiversity loss and highlights TNFD as an instrumental initiative to achieve this.
- Fitch Ratings (28 April) ESG in Credit – Biodiversity and Waste Issues. The report focuses on biodiversity and waste issues and how they translate into credit issues and potentially materialise as credit risks.
- Environmental Finance (27 April) Greening sovereign debt. In this OpEd, Simon Zadek, Co-chair of the Technical Expert Group of the initiative bringing together a TNFD, argues that sovereign debt markets need to better reflect the impact of natural capital on nations’ productivity and resilience.
- Responsible Investor (27 April) Efforts underway on ‘Nature 100+’ collective biodiversity engagement. The article outlines a possible new collective engagement effort on biodiversity similar to Climate Action 100+.
- BusinessGreen (23 April) LEAF Coalition: UK joins US, Norway, and top corporates to launch $1bn tropical forest protection drive. Launched at President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, the new Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition aims to mobilize at least US$1 billion in financing in publicprivate efforts to protect tropical forests.
- S&P (23 April) Natural Capital and Biodiversity: Reinforcing Nature as an Asset. In this report, the ratings agency sets out the challenge of biodiversity loss and how companies and financial institutions can respond. You can watch an interview discussing the report here.
- London School of Economics (22 April) Exploring the links between biodiversity loss and financial stability. In this blog, part of a Sustainable Finance Leadership series, describe the need for a systematic approach by central banks and financial supervisors to biodiversity and outline the role for a new study group launched by the NGFS and INSPIRE.
- Environmental Finance (22 April) Your top investment questions about biodiversity, answered. The article answers the top questions investors ask about biodiversity, including questions around measurement, disclosure and impact assessments. WWF
- (21 April) Farming with Biodiversity, Towards Nature-Positive Production at Scale. The report focuses on transforming production practices at the farm and landscape level, as well as structural transformations at the food system level to support this, outlining changes needed to create food systems that support rather than exploit nature.
- Forbes (17 April) Planetary Emergency, Central Banks And Financial Institutions. The article reviews how central banks and financial institutions could contribute to positive outcomes for biodiversity.
- Bloomberg Green (17 April) UN Summit to Seek Support From Bankers to Stem Biodiversity Loss. The article explains what to expect from the upcoming global biodiversity summit later this year, and its relevance for financial institutions.
- Finance for Biodiversity Initiative (9 April) Debt and Biodiversity: A Chinese Leadership Opportunity. The report sets out the opportunity for China to engage in developments linking debt and biodiversity.
- Environmental Finance (1 April) Banque de France creates climate change centre, assesses biodiversity impact. The article describes how and why the French central bank has conducted a study of the biodiversity impact of its investment portfolios for the first time.
- Finance for Biodiversity Pledge (1 April) Overview of Biodiversity Initiatives for Finance. The signatories of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, together with UNEP FI, the PRI and the [email protected] Community, have created an overview of the main biodiversity-related initiatives developed for financial institutions.
For more relevant content and tools, visit our new Knowledge Bank on the TNFD website.
TNFD in the news (highlights)
- World Economic Forum (27 April) Ensuring supply chains are deforestation-free is still a priority. This is why.
- Guadapress (25 April) La Cumbre de Biden marca el inicio de un año decisivo para la acción climática.
- CNN Business (22 April) 5 ways businesses can be more aggressive about climate change.
- Cambio16 (22 April) En el Día de la Tierra pedimos medidas sólidas contra el cambio climático.
- Nikkei Business (14 April) 国連開発計画総裁「人類は失敗を深く認識しなければなりません」
- ESG Investor (14 April) Managers Need to be More Hands-on with Data.
- Advisorpedia (9 April) Biodiversity Is the Next ‘Climate’ for Investors.
- Nikkei Business Daily (5 April) 欧州先行の「自然資本」枠組み 生物多様性テーマ、金融も参画
- Irish Times (2 April) Sustainability: some top trends