Climate change’s grey area gets overdue focus

A grey seal pup is seen on Hay island off the coast of Nova Scotia February 11, 2009. East coast sealers postponed the hunt for 2,200 seal on the island after failing to find a buyer for the pelts.

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) - The net is gradually closing on corporate green laggards. The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), championed by former Bank of England boss Mark Carney, already obliges companies to divulge their exposure to risks relating to things like carbon emissions. Now there’s the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), which on Thursday unveiled a 30-strong set of financial and corporate experts.

Another climate body with a non-memorable acronym may sound like overkill. But biodiversity risks often get obscured. That’s odd, given that on one count $44 trillion of economic value generation - over half global GDP - depends on a varied ecosystem of marine and terrestrial animals and plants. That’s probably because it’s harder to pin down the scale of the problem in hard-to-measure areas like animal habitats. As such, there’s a case for the TNFD hammering out a framework so investors can see companies’ vulnerabilities. Some boards won’t like it. But as with the TCFD, that’s their tough luck. (By George Hay)

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