Policy and Regulation

Regulatory Briefing: UK Transition Plan Taskforce opens consultation on new framework

The UK’s new Transition Plan Taskforce has launched a consultation on its Sector-Neutral Framework, which will help shape its guidance on how firms should frame their net zero transition plans. Typical of the questions asked is whether data and metrics used to communicate ambition and measure progress in transition plans should be standardised.

The government-backed TPT wants to create a framework for corporate transition plans that is neutral across sectors. It will also recommend how to enhance firms’ capacity to use transition plans and how to produce plans that are “accurate, robust and accountable”. It has been given two years to complete the task. 

Principles questions. Feedback is being sought on three key principles. The first is that plans should be aligned with an economy-wide net zero transition; the second is that they should focus on concrete actions that emphasise the near term and are backed up by clear governance mechanisms; and third is that plans should enable periodic reporting and verification in a transparent manner. 

The TPT talks of the need to provide a “gold standard” for transition plans in the UK. And there is certainly a need, given that firms’ climate change pledges often seem hollow. But the new taskforce acknowledges that there is already a plethora of frameworks – so why does the UK need a bespoke approach?

What the TPT says. TPT secretariat co-head Ben Caldecott tells Sustainable Views: “The TPT has been established to help define what ‘good’ looks like. I suspect we will get much more into the quality, comprehensiveness and robustness of transition plans than the international processes that are necessarily higher level, thereby informing and strengthening them. I think the ambition for quality and high integrity transition plans is much higher in the UK than in other jurisdictions."

The backbone of the corporate reporting element, according to the TPT consultation, will be the new standards due to be produced by the International Sustainability Standards Board. The UK authorities have already confirmed their intention to adapt their requirements to incorporate ISSB standards.

Green hub? The launch of the TPT, co-chaired by economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen and Aviva chief executive Amanda Blanc, chimes with the government’s ambition to make the UK “the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre”. The UK was hoping to seal its ambitions as a green financial hub by winning the ISSB headquarters for London but lost out in March to Frankfurt.

The call for evidence closes on July 13.

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