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Finance faces new nature-positive disclosure requirements

FILE PHOTO: Smoke and steam billow from Belchatow Power Station, Europe's largest coal-fired power plant, near Belchatow, Poland. Picture taken November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Financial firms already struggling with climate-compliance due to unclear measurement metrics will soon face new disclosure requirements for biodiversity, or nature-related, investments.

“Nature is a financial risk for business,” Elizabeth Mrema, co-chair of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), told the Reuters Global Markets Forum, adding that $10 trillion is accrued every year from nature.

The TNFD working group is putting together metrics to measure biodiversity targets in consultation with industry and financial institutions. Its post-2020 Biodiversity Framework is expected to be adopted later this year.

“It’s about accountability. You cannot improve what you cannot measure. What gets measured gets done. We need that robust measurement system,” said Daniel Stander, deputy chair of the Resilient Cities Network.

The framework will ask financial institutions and corporate bodies to shift their financial flows from nature-negative to nature-positive outcomes.

Another metric will ask the private sector to repurpose and redirect harmful subsidies, worth over $500 billion a year.

“Biodiversity is getting higher on the agenda,” said David Knibbe, CEO of Dutch insurer NN Group NV, which has 200 billion euros ($214 billion) in assets under management and is active in sustainable finance.

“If we get biodiversity problems, let’s say the ecosystem is being disturbed, that could lead to food shortages and instability,” Knibbe said, adding that NN plans to engage with companies so that the insurer can track their progress.

“The good news is quite a few of the biodiversity projects go hand-in-hand with the climate projects,” Knibbe said.

(These interviews were conducted in the Reuters Global Markets Forum. Join GMF on Refinitiv Messenger: https://refini.tv/33uoFoQ)

(Reporting by Divya Chowdhury and Jessica DiNapoli in Davos; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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