Australia Delays Digital Climate Reporting, Embraces Alignment with ISSB Standards

Australia Delays Digital Climate Reporting, Embraces Alignment with ISSB Standards

By Prathamesh 21 July, 2023

The Australian government has initiated a second consultation seeking input on the implementation of standardised climate-related financial disclosures in the country. The goal is to closely align these requirements with the recently published standards from the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), promoting global comparability. The consultation paper states that the government will delay the introduction of digital climate reporting, pending a combined digital mandate of financial and climate-related disclosures.

The proposed positions cover key aspects such as coverage, content, framework, and liability, with detailed disclosure standards to be established by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB). The AASB plans to conduct a public consultation in the latter half of 2023 to gather feedback on the Australian standards, which are expected to align closely with the ISSB standards.

The alignment with international standards is a step in the right direction. At XBRL International we have been waiting for an Australian digital mandate for securities disclosures for quite some time. There is now strong stakeholder support for the introduction of mandatory Inline XBRL reporting. While it is perhaps regrettable that the Australian government has decided against the opportunity to take a digital-first approach to reporting for climate disclosure at this time, we are strongly encouraged by signals that a combined financial and climate digital mandate is on the horizon.

By striving for alignment with ISSB standards and introducing comprehensive disclosure requirements, Australia is taking a significant step toward advancing sustainability information – although for truly useful information the next step will be the adoption of digital disclosures in Inline XBRL. Stakeholders can respond to the consultation before the deadline of 21 July 2023.

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