Chancellor to lay out rules on businesses’ climate disclosures

The Chancellor will promise to make the UK the most “advanced and exciting” financial services hub in the world as he sets out a plan which would force companies to reveal their impact on the climate.

Rishi Sunak is set to explain how he wants to “sharpen our competitive advantage in financial services” with reforms in the industry.

“As the baton passes to a new generation of leaders in finance, I feel optimistic about the future. Ambitious at home. Confident internationally,” he will say.

“With a plan to make this country the world’s most advanced and exciting financial services hub for decades to come, creating prosperity at home and projecting our values abroad.”

BP and Shell signs
Oil giants BP and Shell have set out targets that they say will reduce their emissions to ‘net zero’ by the middle of this century (PA)

Speaking at Mansion House, the Chancellor will announce new plans that will force companies to report their environmental and climate impact.

The so-called Integrated Sustainability Disclosures Requirements will apply to firms “across the economy”, the Treasury said. Companies will also be required to say what risks and opportunities they are facing from climate change.

Big business has in recent years come under increasing pressure to react to the climate crisis.

Oil giants BP and Shell have set out targets that they say will reduce their emissions to “net zero” by the middle of this century.

However, experts worry that companies are setting their own goals and their disclosures on climate impact are impossible to compare to each other.

Offshore wind fram
The Treasury will use money raised through green bonds to invest in offshore wind (PA)

They have called for mandatory reporting, which would make it easier for investors to assess what companies are progressing the fastest to combat climate change.

On Wednesday the Government also revealed details of a new green bond which it hopes can unlock some of the savings that people have collected during the pandemic.

The Treasury will aim to raise at least £15 billion through the green bonds, using the money to invest in zero-emissions buses, offshore wind and efforts to decarbonise homes and buildings.

The bonds will also be used to pay for climate change adaptation programmes such as flood defences or tree planting.