September 2020 newsletter
In short: The Informal Working Group (IWG) for bringing together a TNFD was publicly announced on 25 September and the IWG got together virtually for their kick-off meeting on 10 September. At the UN Biodiversity Summit on 30 September, the UN Secretary General stated that: “the new Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures will help financial institutions to shift finance from destructive activities and toward nature-based solutions.”
Highlights of the month
62 members of the Informal Working Group (IWG) publicly announced
On 25 September, the Informal Working Group (IWG) that will bring together a TNFD was publicly announced at the Business and Finance Day at the Nature for Life Hub. The NatureforLife Hub made 90 million new impressions on social media on the Business day and is on track to make a billion impressions over the next two weeks. The UN Secretary General referenced the TNFD when addressing the UN Biodiversity Summit on 30 September, identifying it as one of the key ways to pursue the three priorities for conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity.
The IWG comprises 62 members, including:
- 34 financial institutions from across five continents including Storebrand, First Rand, NatWest, Citi, BNP Paribas, AXA, Rabobank, Credit Suisse, Banorte, Manulife Investment Management, PIMCO, DBS Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management and YES BANK.
- 5 companies including BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Ernst and Young, KPMG and EcoAdvisors.
- The UK, French, Swiss and Peruvian governments, as well as the OECD, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Bank and many others. (See the full list.)
The 62 members that make up the IWG will establish a detailed two-year work plan for the Task Force, which is planned to launch in 2021. Nature-related risk is a huge topic to tackle, and the IWG will set out targeted objectives and a clear scope for the TNFD.
IWG kick-off meeting
On 10 September, the IWG had a successful inaugural meeting where they discussed the group’s high-level work plan. Going forward, the working group will now meet on a monthly basis until the launch of the Task Force itself, which is expected in Q1-Q2 2021.
The IWG will be supported by a Technical Expert Group (TEG) and an Observer Group
Designed to support the working group, the TEG will be made up of individuals with a wide range of expertise, including financial risk analysis, particularly with respect to climate and environmental risks; large scale data management, standardisation and verification; biodiversity impacts and dependencies and natural capital frameworks; and international agreements and processes.
An Observer Group will allow for a broader group of organisations to closely follow the activities of the IWG and enable them to comment on the IWG deliberations.
Opportunities to join initiatives and events
- All month: Join the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge. On 25 September, an initial group of 26 financial institutions, representing over $3trn in assets, pledged to measure, set targets and publicly report on their biodiversity impacts by 2024. Interested in joining the Pledge or want to learn more? Have a look at the website – or reach out to the coordinators with any questions: Anne-Marie Bor: [email protected], and/or Anita de Horde: [email protected]
- 13–14 October: UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable. A virtual event, including a session on setting biodiversity targets. See the agenda and register for free.
Relevant content released this month
- World Bank Group (28 September): Report on Mobilizing Private Finance for Nature. TNFD is among the 5 big ideas to unlock private finance for biodiversity and ecosystem service
- OECD (28 September): Biodiversity and the economic response to COVID-19- Ensuring a green and resilient recovery. The briefing sets out the vital role of biodiversity for human life and the importance of integrating biodiversity considerations into the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
- UNDP (24 September): Putting nature at the heart of business and finance. This blog post explains the benefits of investing in the protection of nature and offers a guide to the latest initiatives happening across business and finance.
- Global Canopy and Vivid Economics (21 September): The Case for a Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures. A report that details why tackling naturerelated risks is an urgent priority for the finance sector, and how a TNFD can help. Short on time? Have a look at Global Canopy’s top five takeaways from the report.
- WWF (18 September): Our Planet: Too Big To Fail. A 42 minute film that explores the risks of inaction, the impact of investing-as-usual, and the role the finance sector can play in powering a sustainable future.
- Paulson Institute, the Nature Conservancy and Cornell Atkinson Centre for Sustainability (17 September): Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap. A report that sets out the economic case for financing biodiversity and estimates the global biodiversity funding gap.
- WWF (10 September): Living Planet report 2020. A flagship publication, released every two years, which offers a comprehensive study of trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet.
- Network for Greening the Financial System (10 September): Overview of Environmental Risk Analysis by Financial Institutions. A publication that provides examples of how environmental risks are transmitted to financial risks, and a comprehensive review of the tools and methodologies financial institutions use for risk analysis.
For a longer list of relevant readings released the past years, have a look at the official ‘Bringing together a TNFD’ website: ‘What you can do now.’
TNFD in the news – highlights
- United Nations (30 September): Secretary-General’s remarks to United Nations Biodiversity Summit
- Responsible Investor (29 September): What a TNFD will achieve (Opinion Piece Global Canopy)
- BusinessGreen (28 September): Biodiversity recovery: Boris Johnson pledges to protect 30 per cent of UK land by 2030
- Duurzaam Beleggen (28 September): Rabobank and Robeco among leading banks and companies to set up a Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures
- IPE (28 September): ‘Biodiversity finance’ pledge launched, TNFD efforts ‘pass milestone’
- Sustainability Reports (28 September): Leading banks and companies join UK, French, Swiss and Peruvian governments in effort to set up a Task Force on Naturerelated Financial Disclosures
- Refinitiv (25 September): Climate Risk & the Financial System
- Aktuell Hallbarhet (25 September): Över 60 organisationer deltar i arbetet med nytt rapporteringsramverk för naturrisker
- Environmental Finance (25 September): Group assembled to build TNFD and Comment, A Toast to the TNFD
- Impakter (25 September): Nature-loss Risky Business (Opinion Piece UNDP)
- Responsible Investor (25 September): TCFD for Nature Working Group Launches with Global Investor and Government Backing
- IPE Magazine (September edition): Ecology: A car crash in nature