New paper outlines use of financial accounting standards to deliver on the TCFD recommendations

London, 12 March 2018

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board is releasing today “Uncharted waters: How can companies use financial accounting standards to deliver on the TCFD’s recommendations?”, which explores how companies can use existing international accounting standards when implementing the TCFD recommendations. 

The paper aims to continue engaging the relevant organizations in a discussion about the similarities between the TCFD recommendations and some of the standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), to bring more clarity about how sustainability and financial reporting can be connected. It comes out as the European Commission calls for the review of current International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to assess their potential impact on sustainable investment, as outlined in the recent Action Plan on Sustainable Finance

The paper focuses on IFRS 7, 9, 15, 17 and IAS 36 and 37, exploring some of the main points applied to traditional financial instruments and how they could potentially help organizations disclose climate-related risks and opportunities within their mainstream reports. The goal is to help companies’ financial departments interpret and implement those principles to climate reporting with the same rigour as financial reporting, and to help sustainability teams work with wider companies’ departments to implement the TCFD recommendations.

Adam Peirce, Technical Director, CDSB said: “The aim of this paper is to show that we can use the same language when talking about traditional business risks and opportunities and climate-related risks and opportunities. These accounting standards fundamentally share a similar purpose to the TCFD: informing investors and wider stakeholders of the material risks and opportunities that could affect a company’s financial position, which will ultimately help maintain long-term global financial stability. 

We believe accounting professionals have a key role to play in the development of sustainable financial markets. Creating an inclusive space where traditional financial resources can be applied to climate-related risk reporting would make the process easier and faster.”

We hope that this paper will generate a constructive discussion with the IASB and their national equivalents to understand how financial accounting standards are also applicable to the analysis and disclosure of climate-related financial information so that the recommendations of the TCFD can be practically implemented by organisations. 

We are particularly interested in hearing from companies, investors and financial accounting standards institutions about their vision and current work in light of the TCFD recommendations. If you would like to comment on this paper, please contact us at

Download the paper