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Accountancy Europe has submitted its comment letter on the proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000, General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements.
We believe that achieving consistent, high-quality reporting and assurance require a collaborative effort from all stakeholders. In this context, we congratulate the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) for the quality and speed of the progress made in this project.
We are of the opinion that ISSA 5000, as a stand-alone, profession-agnostic and principles-based standard, can and should become a global baseline for sustainability assurance engagements.
We encourage the IAASB to continue engaging with European stakeholders and monitor relevant developments on sustainability reporting and assurance, so that ISSA 5000 can serve as a basis for adoption in Europe.
The IAASB should also play its role in the corporate ecosystem’s capacity building given the significance of this ‘new land’ for many stakeholders. This includes working with other parties in the ecosystem to provide support and guidance as appropriate. Accountancy Europe is committed to collaborate with the IAASB in its efforts for responding to public interest issues related to sustainability assurance.
The European Parliament (EP) Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee adopted its position on the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to regulate environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating activities. Members of the Parliament (MEPs) propose to:
ECON members also approved the mandate to enter the negotiations with the Council.
The third trilogue on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) took place on 22 November. Key issues discussed in the third trilogue:
The next trilogue will take place on 13 December.
EFRAG postponed the Value Chain Implementation Guidance and Materiality Assessment Implementation Guidance consultations to mid-December 2023. Stakeholders will be able to submit their feedback until the end of January 2024.
EFRAG will open a consultation on the Listed SME standard and the voluntary standard for other SMEs in mid-January 2024, with a 4-month comment period.
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published three explanatory notes on:
The International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) focused its work on three policy areas in 2023:
During the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) event, the IPSF presented the reports on social bonds and implementing transition finance principles
Multilateral Development Banks confirmed support for the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) work during COP28, which is expected to impact endorsement in the respective regions. Moreover, nearly 400 organisations and 64 jurisdictions committed advancing the adoption or use of the ISSB standards at a global level.
The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation also launched the IFRS Sustainability knowledge hub to support the use of ISSB standards. The hub:
The IFRS Foundation and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committed to cooperate towards effective communication about sustainability-related risks and opportunities.
Emmanuel Faber was re-appointed as ISSB Chair for a second term, ending on 31 December 2027. He will continue working with vice-chairs Sue Lloyd and Jingdong Hua.
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Board issued a report on supervisory practices to address greenwashing. The report presents some challenges including:
IOSCO issued a statement on IAASB’s proposed sustainability assurance standard (ISSA 5000), identifying five priority topics:
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) released a diagnostic tool that can be tailored by each business individual circumstances such as industry sector, lifecycle, products and services provided. The tool aims to help small and medium size businesses to maximise the benefits of incorporating sustainability into their strategy and business operations.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published:
Their SDR include, among other things, an anti-greenwashing rule for all authorised firms to make sure sustainability-related claims are fair, clear and not misleading.
CEAOB comment letter relating to the IAASB’s proposed ISSA 5000
ESMA comment letter on IAASB proposed standard ISSA 5000
EP Think Tank
Transparency and integrity of environmental, social and governance rating activities
EFRAG and GRI Enhance Collaboration with Deeper Ties
EFRAG Welcomes the Work of the ISSB in relation to High Quality Climate-related Disclosures at Global Level
IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board welcomes the achievements in the area of sustainability-related disclosure
FRC announces areas of supervisory focus for 2024/25
EBA reaffirms its commitment to enhancing climate related and broader sustainability considerations