2 Dec, 2021

Sustainable Finance Regulatory Update: November 2021


This month we are bringing you the landmark pledges made by various countries at the COP26 summit, the latest on IFRS’s International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), an announcement of a Green Taxonomy by Russia, and the launch of the ESG Book – a significant step in the arena of democratizing access to ESG data.

Launch of ESG Book

A global alliance of leading financial institutions, investors and businesses have announced the launch of ‘ESG Book’ on 1 December 2021, a new central source for accessible and digital corporate sustainability information, with the aim of shaping the future of ESG data.  

Developed by Arabesque, ESG Book makes sustainability data widely available and comparable for all stakeholders, enables companies to be custodians of their own data through a digital platform, provides framework-neutral ESG information in real-time, and promotes transparency. Available for all companies, investors, standard-setters, and other stakeholders, ESG Book follows five principles based on a mission to create ESG data as a public good. Read more.  

EU Commission adopts proposal for European Single Access Point (ESAP)

 On 25 November 2021, the European Commission adopted a package of legislative measures, including the establishment of the European Single Access Point (ESAP) platform, offering a single access point for public financial and sustainability-related information about EU companies and EU investment products. This will give investors better visibility of companies, opening up more sources of financing. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is tasked with establishing the ESAP by 31 December 2024. Read more 

COP26 Recap: Deforestation and Methane Pledges & Coal Phase-out in sight 

  • More than 100 leaders, representing over 85% of the world’s forests, made a pledge to end deforestation by 2030 at COP26. The pledge is backed by almost £14 billion ($19.2 billion) in public and private funding. Read more 
  • The United States and European Union launched the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative to reduce global methane emissions to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.  
    Read more 
  • Forty countries agreed to phase out coal-fired power by 2040. Read more 
  • Twenty-five countries and five financial institutions committed to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. Read more 

EU SFDR further delayed to 1 January 2023 

In a letter to the European Parliament and Council published on 29 November, the European Commission requested a delay in the application date of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) regulatory technical standards, to 1 January 2023. The Commission cited the complexity of the RTS and the need for smooth implementation as reasons for the delay. Read more 

Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) commits $130 trillion to net-zero transition 

  • Through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), over $130 trillion of private capital was committed to transforming the economy for net zero. These commitments, from over 450 firms across 45 countries, can deliver the estimated $100 trillion of finance needed for net zero over the next three decades. Read more 

Launch of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) 

  • The International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) Foundation announced the formation of a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), a comprehensive global baseline of high-quality sustainability disclosure standards to meet investors’ information needs. The foundation will further complete the consolidation with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF) by June 22. Read more 

Russia’s Green Taxonomy announced 

VEB.RF, Russian State Development Corporation, announced the official adoption of the Russian Green Taxonomy. The taxonomy aims to be comparable with international best practice and VEB.RF designed it to be broadly in line with the Climate Bonds Taxonomy and with substantial contribution components of the EU Taxonomy. Read more 

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) issues Guidance on Climate Disclosures 

  • Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) published a new Guidance on Climate Disclosures, one of the first Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guides issued by stock exchanges in Asia aiming to provide practical guidance to facilitate listed companies in complying with the TCFD recommendations. Read more 

ASEAN Green Taxonomy announced 

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) released Version one of the Sustainable Taxonomy for Southeast Asian region. The Taxonomy will provide a common language for sustainable finance among the ten ASEAN Member States (AMSRead more 

Other relevant news 

  • New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has published its implementation approach for the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (CRD Bill). Read more 
  • United States’ Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), Michael J. Hsu, issued a call to action on climate change to the boards of directors of OCC-regulated banks. Read more 
  • The European central bank (ECB) published a report on the state of climate-related and environmental risk management in the banking sector. The report provides an overview of the current state of play and examples of good practice banks can adopt to mitigate climate-related risks. Read more 
  • The International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) published the “State and trends of ESG disclosure measures across IPSF jurisdictions, Brazil and the US” report which presents a stock take of ESG disclosure measures across these jurisdictions and identifies trends and gaps. Read more 


  • Keynote speech by Verena Ross, Chair of ESMA DSW Conference “ESG – Next Level Reporting, Risk Management, Strategy and Responsibility”. Read here the complete speech