“We have to measure the risk that climate change poses to businesses, but also the impact of businesses on climate change”

L‘Elysée announced on June 3 the launch of an international initiative, supported by the State, aimed at creating a data platform on the behavior of companies vis-à-vis climate change. A project that must be officially presented to the public in the next few days, in New York, during the general assembly of the United Nations that will be held from September 13 to 26.

The proposed objectives are commendable: it is about producing comparable information – because they are presented in a homogeneous and centralized way – to help investors invest their funds in the companies most mobilized in the low-carbon transition. For the good of the planet.

Many questions

However, this announcement raises many questions, even reservations. There is already a similar platform, created in 2000 at the initiative of British investors, the Carbon Disclosure Project (now CDP), which publishes information on the environmental impact of companies and cities. Six thousand large companies voluntarily feed the data continuously. Rather than starting from scratch, why not support their business?

The project announced by the Elysée also mentions several American actors of financial information as essential partners (Bloomberg, Moodys, etc.). Indeed, they are in the process of rapidly developing their business as weather information providers thanks to partnerships, as well as the acquisition of specialized agencies.

Also read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers “Greenwashing”: “Companies often hide an insufficient or partial treatment of the reality of carbon emissions”

But the presidential press release curiously omits to mention the European initiatives which are nevertheless of great interest.

In Europe, a dedicated organization, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG, in French, European Advisory Group on Financial Information), is precisely in the process of developing “extra-financial” standards, so that all companies in the present continent. its climate impact in a quantified and comparable way.

Stakeholder consultation before finalizing these standards was completed in August. Even in Europe, the European Financial Markets Authority (ESMA, in English for the European Securities and Markets Authority) is approached to monitor the activities of extra-financial rating agencies.

A conflict between two visions

A European-wide ecosystem for the production of reliable climate information is therefore in place. It is, it seems, ignored by the promoters of the new project. Ignored? In reality, it is not about ignorance but about a conflict between two visions of this information.

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