Minutes of meetings
Minutes of previous meetings are held on this page and can be downloaded by clicking the buttons below.
UK Green Taxonomy
ESG’s role in the transition to net zero
A week in advance of the Autumn Budget Statement the APPG assembled a series of recommendations to put to the Chancellor on how to take a “smart” approach to delivering more green projects.
The APPG returned to the topic of modern slavery. This roundtable found strong consensus in favour of the Modern Slavery Act including investment portfolios, and called for a “proactive” regulatory environment, nurturing a cultural shift across international supply chains.
Voluntary Carbon Markets
Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs) are recognised as a “powerful climate finance tool” with notable secondary benefits – e.g. raising biodiversity and supporting local communities economically, particularly in the global south. However, the market suffers from a lack of trust, stymying growth, and potential buyers of carbon credits are often wary of greenwashing accusations.
The International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) Sustainability Disclosure Standards
With Sue Lloyd, Vice-Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board; Lee White, Executive Director of the IFRS Foundation; and Richard Barker, ISSB Board Member.
Gender equality and gender washing
Alexander Stafford MP, chairman of the APPG on ESG, has highlighted gender equality and gender washing as key topics for the group to explore as part of its work in moving the ‘S’ agenda forward. The roundtable raised key issues around funding for female entrepreneurs, the family and education. The solutions cover many areas, but begin with improving the quality and quantity of data, highlighting the many barriers faced by women in different regions and different contexts.
The Department for Work and Pensions’ ‘Social Factors’ Taskforce
As the APPG focuses more on the social aspects of ESG, we were honoured to have Luba Nikulina attend our roundtable to discuss the DWP’s ‘Social Factors’ Taskforce. The discussion revolved around how the ‘E’ and the ‘S’ work together, modern slavery, disclosures, and the need for more work on the social pillar of ESG.
The UK Government’s Green Finance Agenda
The APPG discussed the array of policy initiatives outlined in the recent Green Finance Strategy to transform the UK into the world’s first net zero financial centre. Key topics included the forthcoming UK Green Taxonomy, the recently announced ESG ratings consultation, and the UK’s approach to steering the global green finance agenda.
Sustainable Growth outside the Financial Services and Markets Bill
Nitika Agarwal, from WWF, and Paddy Arber, from Aviva, discussed an additional “climate and nature” objective in the FSMB, which would influence financial regulators’ policymaking, supervision and guidance, potentially transforming the financial services industry and the broader economy. A weaker “net zero” regulatory objective appears in the Bill as it currently stands. However, WWF, Aviva, and their partners believe a climate and nature regulatory principle must feature to ensure the transition to a greener economy.
Overcoming ESG-related challenges for small and medium-sized businesses
Kevin Hollinrake MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business and Trade, attended the APPG’s roundtable discussion on overcoming ESG-related challenges for small and medium-sized businesses. With SMEs accounting for 99.9% of businesses in the UK, many of them facing ESG disclosure requirements, it is incumbent on policymakers to tackle the barriers they face, as SMEs increasingly look to larger corporates for guidance and resources.
COP15, biodiversity and ESG
Trudy Harrison MP (Minister for Natural Environment and Land Use) attended a roundtable discussion on COP15 and the UK’s biodiversity policies from an ESG perspective. At the meeting, the Minister expressed her hope that the UK continues to set the conditions to stimulate more private investment in nature recovery by developing a market framework and standards to ensure high-integrity nature markets.
The outcomes of COP27 for ESG
The APPG held a roundtable discussion with climate experts and members of the advisory board the day after COP27 concluded in Sharm El-Sheikh. While the conference fell well short of the high watermark set by COP26 in Glasgow, the deal made between national governments calling for a “transformation” of the financial system was a positive indicator that successive COPs are important drivers of green finance and embedding ESG principles.
Trust in the market for ESG products and services, attended by the Financial Conduct Authority
The APPG held a roundtable discussion with the Financial Conduct Authority on October 25th to discuss the need for regulatory intervention in the ESG market to increase transparency and trust. The FCA released a consultation on Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and investment labels on the same day, which was discussed at the meeting.
The UK’s Green Taxonomy and how it compares
Expert representatives from the Green Finance Institute came to speak to the APPG on ESG to discuss the imminent release of the UK’s green taxonomy, and how the UK can learn from the European Union and other countries about what makes a green taxonomy successful.
The importance of regulators in driving the ESG agenda in financial services
The Financial Reporting Council’s Executive Director of Regulatory Standards, Mark Babington, spoke to the APPG on ESG on the role of regulators in supporting a cleaner, greener, and more socially responsible economy, and driving higher standards of corporate governance in financial services.
ESG Ratings and ESG Data in Financial Services
The APPG on ESG were joined by Nick Bonsall, Chair of the IRSG ESG ratings workstream, and Peter Beardshaw, Managing Director at Accenture, European & UK Sustainability Services Lead to discuss the findings of the City of London’s International Regulatory Strategy Group’ recent report on ESG Ratings and ESG Data in Financial Service.
A landscape of green finance regulation
The APPG on ESG were joined by leading environmental think tank, E3G, for a politically-focused discussion that looked at the ‘landscape of green finance regulation’ within the context of net zero, examined green finance regulation in the UK and questioned where we could improve.
How can ESG-focussed legislation help businesses tackle modern slavery?
The APPG on ESG were joined by the Independent Anti-Slavery Comissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, and vice chair Gareth Davies MP, to examine how ESG-focussed legislation can help dismantle modern slavery within business supply chains and financial investments.
Does the UK need a Social Taxonomy?
The APPG on ESG roundtable discussion explored whether a Social Taxonomy and advisory group, in addition to the UK’s Green Taxonomy, would be a valuable regulatory addition, allowing more transparency for companies and investors on the social impact and performance of their operations and investments.
Defining impact from the perspective of ESG directors across various industries
Chaired by Alexander Stafford MP, the APPG on ESG held a roundtable discussion exploring what ESG impact means from the point of view of a range of sectors and industries. The discussion expanded on how this translates to materiality in reporting and also covered retrofitting buildings, EU and UK taxonomies, impact investing, and the COP26 summit.
Standardising and regulating ESG performance and assessment in the UK
The APPG on ESG discussed the standardisation and regulation of ESG performance and assessment in the UK. The roundtable style discussion covered the EU’s SFDR, TCFD, the UK’s SDRs, the use of ratings agencies and/or in-house analysis, and the benchmarks by which different sectors are quantifying ESG performance.
Ethical finance and the potential of pensions to unlock government investment into ESG
The APPG on ESG were joined by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman MP, for a virtual discussion on the growth of ESG-focused funds and pension schemes.