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Increasing demands for environmental monitoring data, reporting, and verification and related challenges

Various initiatives and organisations related to climate and biodiversity crises
Initiatives and organisations related to climate and biodiversity crises

 

There are likely to be increases in demands for environmental monitoring data and its interpretation, due to changes in corporate sustainability reporting and financial disclosure activities related to climate and biodiversity crises (and broader sustainability crisis) that is essential for supporting organisations and countries in their post-COVID green recovery strategies. In part, this is being driven by the activities of three task forces: the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), and Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM). Environmental monitoring is one activity in a chain of activities - spanning monitoring/measuring, reporting, and verification/assurance (often referred to as MRV). Environmental monitoring is the foundation of how we understand our impacts on rural, urban, and marine environments.

Several challenges related to greater levels of sustainability reporting and financial disclosure include: the need for green taxonomies to reflect the sustainability risks and opportunities of an organisation’s activities, sustainability reporting and financial disclosure standards and frameworks need to be science based and used by all organisations, and there are gaps in the availability of data to support greater levels of consistent and comprehensive sustainability reporting and financial disclosure.

This briefing tries to provide an overview of corporate sustainability reporting and financial disclosure initiatives related to the climate and biodiversity crises. Due to, almost, daily announcements from a wide range of related initiatives e.g. from the G7 and G20 to various task forces on financial disclosures and scaling of voluntary carbon markets, then please note new information will be available since this briefing was written in early June 2021.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.