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ESG Taxonomy
The Treasury department of the Australian Government has announced its proposed Sustainable Finance Strategy. The strategy aims to support the mobilization of private capital needed to finance the transition to a net zero economy, help firms access funding for their own transitions, and manage risks and opportunities presented by climate change and other sustainability issues.

Key proposals in the new strategy include establishing a framework for sustainability-related financial disclosures and net zero transition plans, developing a sustainable finance taxonomy, and introducing a labelling system for sustainable investment products.

The strategy will initially focus on climate-related issues due to their systemic nature, and then expand to other sustainability-related issues and frameworks over time. The government plans to implement mandatory climate-related financial disclosure requirements for companies and financial institutions, with reporting requirements applying as soon as 2024 for large businesses.

The paper also includes plans for the development of a Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, a set of criteria used to evaluate the alignment or contribution of economic activities to climate and other sustainability objectives. The taxonomy will be developed initially by the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute (ASFI), with oversight by the Council of Financial Regulators’ Climate Working Group.

Furthermore, the government proposes to develop labels for investment products marketed as sustainable. The labelling regime would be primarily targeted at retail investors and would also include requirements for investment product issuers to provide additional information.

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