The FINANCIAL — a member of the World Bank Group, has become the first multilateral development institution to disclose climate-related risk under the guidelines of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), joining a number of entities that are taking steps to identify and mitigate climate-related financial risk. The disclosure, made in IFC’s 2018 Annual Report, signals a growing momentum for climate-related disclosures.
In December 2015, the Financial Stability Board—an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system—launched TCFD, which in July 2017 released recommendations for companies to voluntarily disclose how they evaluate and mitigate climate-related financial risks. IFC has been disclosing its climate-related investments and net emission reductions for several years now, although this is IFC’s first disclosure under the TCFD framework.
IFC recognizes that climate change poses a potential risk to its financial returns, particularly for its longer-hold investments. A 2015 Mercer study that IFC supported, identified the financial risk implications focusing on institutional investors and found significant risks to investing in a business-as-usual scenario. Since then, IFC has increased its proportion of climate-related investments. In the fiscal year ending June 2018, IFC’s climate-related investments rose to $8.4 billion—which included $3.9 billion from IFC’s own account and $4.5 billion mobilized from investors. IFC is developing tools to systematically evaluate climate risk in new investments.
Under the TCFD guidelines, IFC’s disclosure is focused on the following areas: strategy and governance; risk management (including physical and transition risks); and targets and related disclosures.
To address government policies and stranded-asset risk and systematically incorporate climate-related considerations in its investment decisions, in November 2016, IFC launched a pilot to use internal carbon pricing for project-finance investments in selected sectors and as of May 2018, internal carbon pricing was mainstreamed for IFC projects.
This is a first step towards better understanding climate-related financial risk and creating tools to report on these risks. Going forward, IFC will continue to refine its analysis, working with partner institutions and banks to develop tools and processes that better help manage these risks and identify related opportunities.