The G7 says it is following the recommendations of the taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD), put in place in 2017 with members from across the G20.

The finance ministers went even further by hailing the creation of a taskforce on nature-related financial disclosures, which covers not only the climate but also nature and biodiversity.

The challenge is that every country takes responsibility and imposes measures on its own companies and so there has to be agreement on accounting rules.

Britain already plans to force companies to go public on their environmental impact from 2025–with the government claiming this makes it the most progressive country in the G20.

Nevertheless, disclosing such information will not be mandatory at first, and businesses in the country are only required to either publish the data or to explain why they are not doing so.

Proper disclosure

The governor of the Bank of France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, said in an interview with The Financial Times on Wednesday that a global agreement could emerge from the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November.

"Proper disclosure should become mandatory -- I would expect this as a first step," Villeroy told the newspaper.

For their part, NGOs warn that the latest measure is no guarantee that the business world will play its part in energy transition.

"Disclosures should have been mandatory a long time ago, but at this stage of the climate and ecological crisis, calling for better data is a dangerous distraction," said David Barmes, an economist at Positive Money.

Markets will not save the day," he said, adding that in his view the G7 governments should mainly work with central banks and regulators to "actively shift finance out of fossil fuels and other environmentally harmful activities."

On 2 June, NGOs in a report said that G7 countries had missed a chance to become greener during the pandemic by massively subsidising polluting sectors such as air travel, despite their climate commitments.

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