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    ISSB Updates Address ESG Issues while IASB Consults on Impairments

    May 30, 2023

    The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is seeking feedback, until August 09, 2023, on the exposure draft that sets out the methodology proposed by ISSB to amend the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards' metrics to enhance their international applicability. ISSB also published the Request for Information titled "Consultation on Agenda Priorities" to seek feedback on its priorities for the next two-year work plan; the feedback period closes on September 01, 2023. Furthermore, in an upcoming development, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) launched a call for stakeholder feedback on the impairment requirements in IFRS 9 and the related disclosures. This request for feedback constitutes the second aspect of the post-implementation review of the IFRS 9 Financial Instruments standard and its feedback period ends on September 27, 2023. The first aspect of the post-implementation review involved classification and measurement requirements while the third aspect will cover hedge accounting.

    The recent ISSB consultation on aligning the existing SASB standards to improve their international applicability is one part of the efforts of the international standard-setting bodies to globally harmonize the rules for sustainability and climate risk disclosures. The exposure draft sets out the methodology for updating references to jurisdiction-specific laws and regulations in the SASB Standards to improve their international applicability. The draft also includes the proposed approach for updating the digital SASB Standards Taxonomy to reflect amendments made to the SASB Standards. However, the proposed scope of application of the methodology described in this draft excludes all SASB Standards metrics included in Exposure Draft IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures (Draft IFRS S2) published in March 2022. This is because the Draft IFRS S2 sets out proposed amendments to the climate-related metrics from the SASB Standards. ISSB will consider feedback on this Exposure Draft and decide how to proceed with the proposed amendments to the SASB Standards and corresponding updates to the SASB Standards Taxonomy. ISSB plans to promptly issue any related amendments to the SASB Standards and the SASB Standards Taxonomy to facilitate the implementation and application of IFRS S1. The SASB standards serve as an important source of guidance in the general requirements standard of ISSB (IFRS S1) by helping companies to identify sustainability-related risks and opportunities and to provide appropriate disclosures beyond climate (which is addressed by IFRS S2).

    Another development from ISSB involves the priorities in its next two-year workplan. With this Request for Information on Agenda Priorities, ISSB also reflects on its mission to issue ISSB Standards that address "climate first, but not climate only." Through this
    consultation, ISSB aims to research topics and, if appropriate, issue Standards that will ensure entities meet the information needs of investors on sustainability topics beyond climate. ISSB seeks feedback on four proposed projects:

    • Three research projects on sustainability-related risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services; human capital; and human rights
    • One research project on integration in reporting to explore how to integrate information in financial reporting beyond the requirements related to connected information in IFRS S1 and IFRS S2

    ISSB has also published this Request for Information Consultation on Agenda Priorities to gather views on the strategic direction and balance of ISSB activities; the criteria for assessing which sustainability-related matters (including topics, industries and activities) to prioritize and add to the ISSB work plan; and the scope and structure of potential new research and standard-setting projects. The feedback received will inform the ISSB work plan and activities for the two-year period commencing 2024. The ISSB expects to discuss feedback on this Request for Information at public meetings in the second half of 2023.

     

    Keywords: International, Banking, IFRS 9, ESG, Climate Change Risk, Reporting, Accounting, Financial Instruments, Taxonomy, SASB Standards, Disclosures, IFRS, IASB, ISSB

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