Canada’s market watchdogs are seeking to “provide clarity” and establish an “equal playing field” for climate-related disclosures.

The Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella group representing Canada’s 10 provincial and three territorial securities regulators, launched a 90-day public comment period on Monday on a new set of proposed rules intended to provide national standards for how publicly-traded companies assess and report risks and disclosures related to climate change. Modelled on the recommendations first proposed by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in 2017, the CSA said the rules should address “concerns about current climate-related disclosures.”

Based on a review of how 48 large Canadian issuers from “a diverse range of industries” currently disclose climate-related information on a voluntary basis, the CSA found only 59 per cent of the risks identified in those disclosures “were relevant, detailed and entity-specific.” The remaining risks “were either boilerplate, vague or incomplete.”

On average, the CSA review found issuers referenced roughly three different third-party frameworks in their voluntary reports. Among other concerns, the umbrella group said the current circumstances allow issuers to “cherry pick by reporting selectively against a particular voluntary standard and/or framework.”

The proposed disclosure requirements, broken down into four main categories as detailed in the chart below, will “provide clarity to issuers on the information required to be disclosed and also facilitate consistency and comparability among issuers,” the CSA said.

Interested parties have until Jan. 17, 2022 to provide feedback on the proposed requirements. Once finalized, the CSA anticipates non-venture-listed companies will be required to begin following the new rules in 2024, while venture-listed issuers will have until 2026.


 Governance The board’s oversight of, and management’s role in assessing and managing climate-related risks and opportunities. 
 Strategy The climate-related risks identified over the short, medium and long term and how those risks impact the company’s business and financial planning 
 Risk management The company’s process for identifying, assessing and managing climate related risks. 
 Metrics and targets The company’s actual greenhouse gas emissions and the related risks, or the company’s specific reasons for not disclosing that information.