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Jul 10, 2023

Singapore proposes ISSB-aligned climate disclosure for all listed companies

Move follows ISSB’s official launch of first standards

Singapore has proposed that all listed companies – as well as large, unlisted firms – be required to report climate-related information aligned with the disclosures created by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

The Sustainability Reporting Advisory Committee (SRAC) has called for listed companies to follow the new rules starting from the 2025 financial year, while unlisted companies with revenues of at least S$1 bn ($0.74 bn) should begin two years later.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and Singapore Exchange Regulation have now launched a public consultation on the proposed changes that will run until September 30 this year.

Under the proposals, all companies would have the freedom to defer ‘complex’ climate-related information, like Scope 3 emissions, by one or two years. External assurance of Scope 1 and Scope 2 data would be expected by the 2027 financial year for listed companies and by the 2029 financial year for large, unlisted ones.

The changes also call for climate-related information to be published at the same time as financial information.

A review will take place in 2027 ‘with the view’ to impose the proposed rules on unlisted companies with at least S$100 mn in revenue, although the experience of large private firms will be taken into account when considering this move.

Stakeholder expectations

‘The recommendations of SRAC aim to uphold Singapore’s attractiveness as a global business hub while contributing to our national agenda on sustainable development under the Singapore Green Plan 2030,’ says SGX Group in a statement announcing the consultation.

‘Bolder climate action and transparency in reporting can become key competitive advantages and present new business growth and opportunities. These recommendations will prepare companies to meet stakeholder expectations, including those of their customers and lenders.’

The proposals would mark a big change for Singapore’s stock market. Under the existing rules, companies in five carbon-intensive industries are required to report under the TCFD recommendations from the 2023 financial year. Other companies must report on a comply-or-explain basis.

Last month, the ISSB officially launched its first two sets of standards: S1 for general sustainability information and S2 for climate-related disclosures. The organization is working with different jurisdictions around the world to support the adoption of its ‘global baseline’ for sustainability information.