EU to publish sustainable finance standards

In the summer the EU High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance’s Technical Expert Group will publish a package of recommendations that will inform sustainable finance practices.

The report and guidance will cover the EU Climate Change taxonomy; the first EU green bond standard, creating a common standard for retail investors; advice for the methodologies of low-carbon benchmarks; and revised guidelines for companies to disclose non-financial and climate risks.

Calling for coordinated policies across jurisdictions, vice president Valdis Dombrovskis made a plea during a high level conference announcing the guidance for a global approach to sustainable finance. “In this way, we can help investors and issuers, markets and governments to follow common rules and benefit from similar incentives. This would also offer new opportunities to companies and businesses linked to global sources of funding.” He said.

Dombrovskis suggested that exchanging best practices on sustainable finance policies across members would lead to joint actions to boost green bond markets, create labels for green financial products, and to harmonise approaches on climate-related disclosures. Such a group, he proposed, could work closely with other international initiatives, such as the Central Banks and Supervisors in the Network for Greening the Financial System and the Financial Centres 4 Sustainability Network, lead to concrete deliverables for the UN Climate Summit later this year.

Ending his remarks, Dombrovskis noted, “The role of the financial sector in transforming our economy toward sustainability had been overlooked for too long. But as the French writer Victor Hugo once said: "you cannot resist an idea whose time has come” and I think this encapsulates the situation of sustainable finance. Only three years ago, sustainable finance used to be a small niche. But today it is becoming a transformational force, also thanks to the supporting policies that many of today's participants have pushed through at home. Now we need to do the same thing at the global level. I hope that many more jurisdictions – who are committed to sustainable finance like us – will join us in this effort.”

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