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Sustainable finance roadmap revealed in net zero push 

The federal government has published its Sustainable Finance Roadmap, detailing reforms that will produce comparable information about businesses’ exposure to climate-related financial risks.

Legislation is before parliament to introduce mandatory climate-related financial disclosure requirements for large businesses from January.

Experts have welcomed the roadmap, saying it provides clarity on how to progress Australia’s sustainable finance policy and tackle greenwashing.

“Building a net zero economy in a way that delivers prosperity and security for our people is a defining opportunity for our country and economy,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers said.

“We want to help companies, investors and the broader community make the most of the energy and net zero transformation, and help realise our ambition to become a renewable energy superpower.”

The Australian Sustainable Finance Institute says it looks forward to forming policy on sustainability product labelling, corporate transition guidance and taxation.

The institute, which includes as members IAG, Allianz and QBE, is partnering with the government on initial development of the Australian sustainable finance taxonomy, which is open for consultation.

The taxonomy is a classification system that defines criteria for economic activities aligned with the 2050 net zero emissions target.

The roadmap “provides welcome clarity on the next steps in Australia’s sustainable finance agenda”, Sustainable Finance Institute CEO Kristy Graham said.  

“Australia is increasingly positioned to demonstrate global leadership and influence the development of regional and international sustainable finance standards, particularly in areas like transition finance.

“Progress over the past 12 months in introducing mandatory climate disclosures and developing an Australian taxonomy is helping to ensure Australia can properly manage climate risk and capitalise on the renewable energy superpower opportunity.”  

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will provide guidance on complying with new reporting obligations.

Mr Chalmers says the roadmap is “all about mobilising the significant private capital required to achieve net zero, modernising our financial markets and maximising the economic opportunities associated with energy, climate and sustainability goals.” 

 See the roadmap here.