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Japan summit to accelerate corporate climate-related disclosures

The Japanese government held the first international summit on Tuesday to promote corporate climate change reporting, calling on stakeholders to create a positive feedback loop between the atmosphere and development.

In a keynote speech at the Tokyo Summit hosted by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Trade Minister Isshu Sugawara said that the 2015 Paris Agreement, an international agreement signed by over 200 countries to tackle potentially devastating climate change, has sparked a surge in responsible development to achieve a sustainable society.

Over the past six years, Sugawara added, investment in environmental, social and governance, known as ESG, has been boosted by about two quadrillion yen.

“How do we promote technology contributions that will be needed in the future to build a sustainable society? That is the goal of this summit being launched, “he said. “We would like to share the recognition among the top managers of industries and financial institutions that addressing climate change is not a cost but a source of competitiveness.” The TCFD was set up in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board, an international organisation that monitors global financial systems following a request from the economic leader.

Recommendations compiled by the TCFD in 2017 focused primarily on four topics— governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and goals. As of the beginning of this month, there were 855 organisations worldwide supporting the TCFD recommendations — including 194 from Japan— making it the largest TCFD-supporting consortium in the world.

The TCFD Consortium also released green investment guidance on Tuesday to encourage investors to engage in dialogue with companies to facilitate their climate-related actions, identify climate change risks and opportunities, and promote innovation that leads to decarbonization.

Other speakers are Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor; Peter Bakker, Chairman and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Kosei Shindo, Chairman of Nippon Steel Corp.; and Hiromichi Mizuno, Chief Investment Officer of the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan.

Five founders— Kunio Ito, a professor at Hitotsubashi University’s Graduate School of Business Administration; Keidanren Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi; Mitsubishi Corp. — Set up the TCFD Consortium to build momentum behind the TCFD in Japan. Chairman Takehiko Kakiuchi; Chairman Makoto Takashima of the Japanese Bankers Association and Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. President Shuzo Sumi.

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