Regulating ESG Rating Providers in India

– SEBI approves regulations for ERPs through amendments to CRA Regulations

– Payal Agarwal, Deputy Manager (

As ESG and climate change concerns assume global priority, there is a growing interest among businesses to claim their offerings, products or structures to be green.  This  growing interest of a variety of stakeholders has led to the emergence of ESG Rating Providers (“ERPs”) for ranking an entity’s ESG profile, providing “green” or other coloured labels, or giving other affirmations as sustainability or sustainable-linkage. Unlike credit ratings, ESG ratings are currently not within the direct domain of securities regulators; however, to the extent ESG ratings relate to securities offerings or financial products, the securities regulators claim to have jurisdiction., he International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) has been working towards evolving recommendatory standards. IOSCO published its final report on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Ratings and Data Products Providers (“IOSCO Consultation Report”) in November, 2021.

Following the same, SEBI released a consultation paper on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Rating Providers for Securities Markets (“ERPs Consultation Paper”) on 24th January, 2022, and on the basis of the public consultation as well as global regulatory developments, had proposed a draft regulatory framework for ERPs (“Draft ERP Framework”) on 22nd February, 2023. Recently, on 29th March, 2023, SEBI has approved to bring a regulatory framework for ERPs in India, by inserting a new chapter to the existing SEBI (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulations, 1999 (“CRA Regulations”).

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