The EC Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis discussed the action plan for sustainable finance. He noted that the EC-appointed high-level expert group published the final report on sustainable finance. EC is ready to follow up on recommendations of the report and to deploy sustainable finance at a pan-European scale. He also highlighted that, in March 2018, EC will present an action plan for mobilizing green investment and integrating sustainability into all aspects of the financial system.
The EC Vice President outlined the following elements of the action plan:
- Priority will be to establish a unified EU classification system—or taxonomy—for sustainable assets and activities; this will help to define what is green and what is not green and to identify areas in which sustainable investment can make the biggest impact. A legislative proposal on the governance of this EU classification system will be presented this Spring.
- Also, this Spring, EC will present a proposal to clarify the duties that asset managers and institutional investors have, to take sustainability into account in the investment process. This would help the clients get more information and options for sustainable investments.
Mr. Dombrovskis also outlined the measures that are being considered as part of the action plan. One example is that a larger market for green financial products is intended to establish EU criteria and labels for green bonds and investment funds, building on the EU classification. Another example includes boosting green investments and loans by introducing a so-called green supporting factor. However, green does not mean risk-free. Any measures would have to be carefully calibrated and based on a clear EU classification, to avoid the risk of green-washing. He concluded that EU alone cannot drive this important change to the financial system. "We need a world-wide coordinated effort. Time is now ripe to put in place the proper conditions and incentives for sustainable finance across the sector, in Europe and globally. This is how green investments can continue their growth. This is how sustainable finance can reach its true potential. And this is what our Action Plan next month will be about."
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