The European Union should seek to align its policies with global rules on reporting on climate change, according to the head of the new International Sustainabilty Standards Board (ISSB).
That could mean extending a November deadline to complete drafts as the EU draws up the text on mandatory disclosures for 50,000 companies in the bloc to disclose how climate change affects their business.
The ISSB aims by the end of the year to draw up “global baseline” disclosures that companies outside the EU, such as Britain, China and Japan, could apply.
ISSB chair Emmanuel Faber said the board holds weekly meetings with the EU’s standards writing body EFRAG, but that the time pressure the EU is under creates “complexities”.
“I would hope that our EU colleagues in the discussions feel that the prize of aligning is such that it’s worth having more time, if needed,” Faber told the European Parliament this week.
“I think on climate I think we are very close on substance,” Faber added.
Multinational companies, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have previously called for alignment between the EU, ISSB and the United States, which has proposed its own disclosure rules, to avoid fragmentation in approaches that would increase compliance costs.
Business groups have also said the EU and ISSB need to remove differences in basic terminology.
To maintain momentum towards alignment, the ISSB has decided to focus on finding common ground on carbon emissions from customers of companies, known as Scope 3 emissions, Faber said.
“There is an intersection between what we do and what EFRAG does. The bigger the intersection, the simpler the life of companies will be,” Faber said.