In his annual letter to CEOs, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink asked that CEOs "issue reports consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures." As the head of the biggest asset manager in the world, Fink's views carry significant weight among businesses.
This announcement by Fink reflects a growing consensus among both prominent businesses (e.g., State Street) and regulators (e.g., SEC Chairman Gensler), that the disclosure framework outlined by the TCFD for climate-related disclosures is the appropriate model to adopt. Although prominent regulators in the United States, such as the SEC, have not yet endorsed the TCFD model--indeed, the SEC has not yet issued its rules on climate-related disclosures, despite indicating that such disclosures constituted a priority for the Biden Administration--it is likely that the increasing embrace of this model by private investors will impact the reasoning and eventual implementation decision by regulators.
Notably, if many companies already feel compelled by investor demands to issue TCFD disclosures, the imposition of similar regulatory requirements may not inspire as much resistance as would be provoked by other types of climate disclosures.
We focus on sustainability not because we’re environmentalists, but because we are capitalists and fiduciaries to our clients. That requires understanding how companies are adjusting their businesses for the massive changes the economy is undergoing. As part of that focus, we are asking companies to set short-, medium-, and long-term targets for greenhouse gas reductions. These targets, and the quality of plans to meet them, are critical to the long-term economic interests of your shareholders. It’s also why we ask you to issue reports consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): because we believe these are essential tools for understanding a company’s ability to adapt for the future.