Mardi McBrien speech at TCFD Summit: How to Develop Opportunity Assessment.

Read CDSB Managing Director Mardi McBrien's remarks at the inaugural TCFD Summit in Japan.

I would like to thank METI and TCFD consortium for inviting CDSB to speak today at the TCFD Summit 2019 about driving the adoption of the TCFD globally.

I would also like to thank WBCSD for working with your member companies to provide practical solutions to support companies in accelerating the adoption of the TCFD recommendations and for your ongoing support of CDSB, both on our Board and as the Chair of our Technical Working Group.

At CDSB, we have been thinking about how to integrate climate risk and opportunity into the annual report and accounts with the same rigour as financial information since 2007. CDSB was set up in Davos at the World Economic Forum in the absence of a globally accepted accounting framework for climate-related financial disclosures by a visionary group of business and environmental NGOs that saw the link between climate change and financial performance.

For over a decade, CDSB has been working globally to lay the groundwork for high-quality TCFD reporting, addressing issues such as the materiality of such information and what makes climate-related information useful for investor decision-making.

CDSB provides a Framework that helps companies implement the TCFD recommendations, by helping them to integrate climate-related factors into their investor-focused reporting.

The Framework also goes beyond climate to cover all environmental issues, applying the principles and requirements of TCFD to natural capital and environmental information.

The CDSB Framework is fully aligned with the TCFD recommendations and has been referenced for compliance with climate reporting regulation globally, meaning that the TCFD recommendations are by default already supporting government policy objectives globally.

We also host the TCFD knowledge hub on behalf of the Task Force, which helps reporting organisations find the resources they need to implement the recommendations. I am excited to announce that we have recently launched online learning courses to support report preparers with their TCFD implementation. 

From conversations this week with Japanese companies, I was encouraged by the tremendous progress in moving from support of the recommendations to action. Your insights could greatly benefit the global uptake of the TCFD recommendations and we encourage you to submit your experiences and best practice to the Hub.

In the past few years, we have also worked closely with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board to provide practical guidance to help implementation. I am excited to be launching a Japanese translation of our joint guidance together with the Japan Stock Exchange and EY Tokyo as an official side event to this summit taking place on Thursday this week.

The implementation guidance and the examples of good practice accompanying it answer the questions we hear most – what does TCFD reporting look like and how do I do it?

We have had the roaring 40s and the swinging 60s. The 2020s will be remembered as the decade of climate action. The urgency of climate risk requires urgent action, and there is great opportunity in acting now.

The Sustainable Development Goals have shaped the discussion on a global scale and the Rio+30 summit in a few years will hopefully see the convergence of the UN Goals and ambitions.

The TCFD recommendations have gained significant attention, with the EU, UK, and many other countries which are fast-moving towards mandatory implementation of the TCFD recommendations by 2022.

TCFD supporters are growing every day, with Japan now leading the way. The time is now to move from only supporting the recommendations to implementing them and reporting in line with the TCFD, so that the market can take advantage of better information on climate risks and opportunities.

For this reason, we also see many government and industry initiatives working on sustainable finance, such as the TCFD Consortium here in Japan, of which CDSB is proud to be a knowledge partner.

The TCFD consortium has launched a Green Investment Guidance today, which is one of the best pieces of guidance I have read on this topic to date - I encourage you all to read it.

At CDSB we speak to hundreds of companies every month and the focus is too often dominated by risk. 

Climate change is one of the greatest opportunities of our time. The untold story is that climate change offers opportunities, as well as risk, and business and the market as a whole is well equipped to respond with new products, technologies and operating models. 

It’s about using the tools we have to create the future we want.