The government made an eleventh hour move to scrap plans forcing UK corporates to disclose their environmental impact from the Queen’s Speech this week, according to reports.
Ministers unveiled a swathe of new bills on Tuesday outlining the government’s priorities for the next session of parliament, but ministers decided to ditch sustainability disclosure requirements (SDRs) from a financial services bill at the last minute, The Financial Times first reported.
The move came amid a wider pullback from ministers over tightening standards of corporate governance, with audit reforms, new powers for the internet regulator and football regulator all dropped.
SDRs were first outlined by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in October with the intention of forcing large firms and asset owners to disclose the environmental impact of their operations.
Ministers had reportedly privately hoped to include details of the plans but withdrew at the last minute.
“I would see this in the context of Downing Street not wanting to impose new regulations on business at this stage,” a source told the FT.
It comes despite a shift from regulators to tighten the screws on firms’ financial performance in recent months.
The Financial Conduct Authority required listed firms to include a statement in their annual financial reports setting out whether their disclosures meet the recommended standards set by the international Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The rules came into force from the 1st January this year, which the FCA said put it at the “vanguard of a now-growing number of regulators globally who are adopting the TCFD’s recommendations in their disclosure rules”.