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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

[Ed. note: In observance of the Fourth of July in the U.S., no blog will be published tomorrow.  We will be back Friday.  We wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth.]

Previously, we wrote about Australia’s draft sustainability reporting standards (ASRS). In their draft form, the standards aligned closely with ISSB but with one notable difference – the ASRS sought to limit disclosures only to climate matters by changing the word “sustainability” to “climate” throughout the ISSB framework. However, after outcry from the investor community, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) reversed course and kept the ASRS in line with ISSB to a greater degree. Responsible Investor reports on the decision stating:

“The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) will revert to the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) global baseline and align “as closely as possible” with the standard setter’s two disclosure standards, chair Keith Kendall has confirmed to Responsible Investor.

The decision was made at a board meeting this week, where the main topic on the agenda was climate-related financial disclosures and the feedback the AASB had received on its three standards.”

While ASRS based on IFRS S2 Climate-related disclosures will be mandatory, the ASRS based on IFRS S1 Sustainability-related Disclosures will be voluntary. The decision to change course and align the language of the ASRS with the IFRS will ensure that Australian disclosures are comparable to other jurisdictions with disclosure legislation based on ISSB. That list of jurisdictions is growing and becoming a larger portion of the global economy. Markets that deviate from the ISSB baseline are drawing criticism. The article cites Malaysia as another example of a jurisdiction that sought to exempt its markets from certain ISSB disclosures, drawing the ire of the investment community in the process.

Our members can learn more about international disclosure standards here.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile