EU lays down roadmap for sustainable finance
A group of independent experts has delivered its awaited report into making finance greener, cleaner and more sustainable.
The High-Level Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) was established by the European Commission in 2016 to help the EU develop policies towards incorporating sustainability into the financial sector.
The group is made up of 20 senior experts, including the London Stock Exchange, WWF France, AXA, and the University of Cambridge.
Its recommendations are designed to ensure that sustainability is “hardwired” into the EU’s regulatory and financial policies. It is also aimed at accelerating the amount of capital going into sustainable development.
The final report, released today, brings these aims into a list of key recommendations. These include providing a defined system for what is and isn’t sustainable; improving disclosure; clarifying the duties of investors, and creating a European standard for green bonds.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commision's Vice-President responsible for financial services said: "The signature of the Paris agreement in 2015 marked a milestone for the world and for the global economy. We are now moving towards a low-carbon society, where renewable energy and smart technologies improve our quality of life, spurring job creation and growth, without damaging our planet. Finance has a big role to play in funding a sustainable future. I welcome the outstanding work of the HLEG which is excellent input for our upcoming strategy."
The report’s findings will directly feed into a comprehensive Action Plan on the issue, and will be debated by ministers at an upcoming conference.
Flavia Micilotta, Executive Director at Eurosif, and a member of the group, commented: “It was an honour to work with such a group of professionals on this ambitious task which will have strong reverberations in Europe and beyond. The set of recommendations spelled out in this report are the product of much hard work and careful analysis to ingrain sustainability in finance”.
Image Credit: Gemma Evans