The South Korean Financial Services Commission recently announced a delay in the country’s upcoming mandatory ESG disclosure system. A press release recapping the third meeting of the task force on promoting ESG announced the delay which will push the regulation into sometime after 2026:
“Taking into account the relevant regulatory timelines in major economies overseas, introducing an ESG disclosure system in domestic market will be postponed until after 2026. Since an ESG disclosure system will introduce new compliance requirements for businesses, this postponement will allow sufficient time for businesses to prepare for the change. A specific timeline for introducing an ESG disclosure system will be determined in the future after coordinating schedule with relevant ministries.”
Many corporations in South Korea found relief in this announcement after calling on the government to delay mandatory sustainability reporting. While this delay may be welcomed, it’s unclear how long major corporations can avoid sustainability reporting given global trends, especially given the recent popularity of extrajudicial reporting requirements in places like the EU.
The ESG pendulum is a tricky thing with some jurisdictions developing and adopting new standards while others look to pair back and streamline the work they’ve already done. Others are waiting to see where the chips fall before developing any standard. It will be interesting to see how different ESG reporting timelines and substantive requirements segment global markets moving forward.
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