The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will only be able to catch the most egregious examples of greenwashing unless the country gets its taxonomy right, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones has warned. Australia’s Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) will oversee the initial development phase of a sustainable finance taxonomy for the country, said Jones during the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors’ annual conference. He reportedly described the forthcoming taxonomy as a “foundational piece” of a sustainable finance architecture. Last month, Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced that the government would co-fund the initial development phase of the taxonomy, in partnership with the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute (ASFI), the organising body working with industry to develop the taxonomy. The funding will allow ASIC to increase surveillance of suspected greenwashing by listed companies, superannuation funds and investment managers, and carry out complex enforcement actions, Jones said. “The government is also acutely aware of the relationship between the taxonomy and action on greenwashing,” he added. “It’s my view that unless we get the taxonomy right, the enforcement action by ASIC will only be able to catch out the most egregious examples of greenwashing. We should be going after the egregious examples at the same time as we put the work into the taxonomy”.
— Regulation Asia (@RegulationAsia) May 4, 2023