• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

  • 2023421.08ppm

News & Views

ISSB: is a global baseline for climate disclosures within reach?

China has become the latest jurisdiction to align its disclosure vision with the ISSB

Since its inception in 2021, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has had to tackle a monumental challenge. One the one hand, investor demand for robust, standardized and comparable climate disclosures is evidently high. On the other, the history of such disclosures is marked by fragmented, voluntary activity.

Over a relatively short period, the ISSB has become increasingly popular. Several regulators around the world have aligned their reporting initiatives with the ISSB standards.

The latest country to take do so is China. With one of the world’s largest sources of both GHG emissions and renewables capacity additions now on board, the idea that the ISSB could become the world’s most widely spoken reporting language does not seem far-fetched.


We welcome the recent announcement from the Chinese Ministry of Finance regarding their strategy for unified China Sustainability Disclosure Standards System based on ISSB Standards

Erkki Liikanen, chair of Trustees, IFRS

China’s ISSB accession

China’s Ministry of Finance has proposed a draft sustainable disclosure standard that is aligned with the ISSB.

The ISSB’s footprint in China is relatively recent. It set up an office in Beijing, the Chinese capital, in early 2023. By the end of the year, the ISSB team was on the ground discussing their work with the Chinese authorities. The team even hosted a conference in November - attended by over 300 guests including the ISSB’s top brass.

Speaking at the conference, ISSB Chair Emmanuel Faber said, “These standards can create a competitive advance for companies. Allocations on stock exchanges will be made in a more transparent, efficient way that takes into account risks”.

In other words, for capital allocation into China, this would be a step forward.

The new proposed Chinese reporting standard, according to the IFRS Foundation, is “drawing on the beneficial experiences of ISSB Standards, aligning with China's context and showcasing Chinese characteristics”.

The optics seem familiar. Back when China acceded to the WTO in 2001, it did so on its own terms. Terms that focused on adopting what was a predominantly Western norm to Beijing’s context. The reasons for getting on board were similar too – investor attraction being key amongst them.

It possibly helped the WTO’s credibility too. Likewise, China’s ISSB accession is welcome news for the future of the ISSB. “We welcome the recent announcement from the Chinese Ministry of Finance regarding their strategy for unified China Sustainability Disclosure Standards System based on ISSB Standards”, said the IFRS Chair of Trustees Erkki Liikanen.

How did the ISSB get this far?

According to the IFRS Foundation, the home of the ISSB, around 20 jurisdictions have aligned their reporting initiatives with the ISSB standards. These jurisdictions represent 55% of the world’s GDP, 40% of its market cap and over 50% of global GHG emissions.

So, the ISSB could become a widely spoken language of climate reporting with a scale hitherto unseen. How did it get to this point?

When the ISSB was set up in 2021, Mr. Liikanen presented a vision regarding what it would take for this project to work. The former Finnish central banker outlined two critical factors.

Global buy-in

First, the ISSB would need to convince the world’s most powerful regulators. It has seen some success in that arena. The European Union for instance, first integrated the ISSB standards into the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive in 2022. In July 2023 when the European Commission issued the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), the reporting entities were permitted to apply both the ESRS as well as the ISSB standard.

America’s ISSB alignment is a work in progress. Is that likely to happen? The jury is still out. In some sense, that is the elephant in the room. The history of global norm-making projects suggests that the ones that succeed tend to have some sort of consensus from Washington.

Global dream, regional reality

“When the challenges are global, the most optimal would be global solutions together with regional initiatives” said Liikanen. In other words, for the ISSB standards to proliferate, they would need to be seen as a global norm with regional roots.

The organization has taken a few steps in that direction. In Africa for instance, the IFRS Foundation has signed a capacity building agreement with the African Development Bank.

Mr. Wale Edun - Nigeria’s Minister of Finance said, “early adoption by African jurisdictions and companies has the potential to attract more investment and to boost private sector development in Africa”. Nigeria was the first African economy to adopt the standards.

Above all else, Mr. Liikanen stressed that the role of investor demand was paramount. The ability of the ISSB standards to become a global baseline for disclosures seems inextricably linked to its popularity amongst the world’s largest investors.

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