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MEPs Back Roll-out of European Sustainability Reporting Standards 

European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) have been adopted by the European Parliament despite a last-minute attempt to get MEPs to ditch them. ESRS, a central component of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), will apply to 50,000 EU companies from January 2024. From 2028, non-EU companies operating in Europe must also report their impacts using the ESRS or equivalent standards. NGO WWF has welcomed the development but noted that ESRS had “been considerably weakened” compared to a proposal, developed over three years, by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group – a group of multi-stakeholder experts including WWF and other business, financial market and civil society actors. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which recently announced a “high level of interoperability” between the new ESRS and the GRI Standards, has also welcomed the development. Eelco van der Enden, CEO of GRI, said: “The endorsement of the ESRS by the European Parliament is welcome because it signals the transition from political debate to practical implementation for these new rules – which are a game changer for corporate accountability, in the EU and globally.” 

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