What’s it all about
The EC High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance has just released its Interim Report and is seeking stakeholder comment and feedback prior to the final report being released in December.
What’s in the Interim Report?
The Interim Report identifies a number of directions to build green finance and investment in the EU in order to meet the Paris climate and emissions reduction goals and also ensure the financial system is contributing to long term sustainable economic growth and positive social development.
In summary, the early recommendations of the HLEG are to:
• Develop a classification system for sustainable assets
• Establish a European standard and label for green bonds and other sustainable assets
• Clarify that fiduciary duty encompasses sustainability
• Strengthen ESG reporting requirements
• Introduce a 'sustainability test' for EU financial legislation
• Create 'Sustainable Infrastructure Europe' to channel finance into sustainable projects
• Enhance the role of the ESAs in assessing ESG-related risks
• Unlock investments in energy efficiency through relevant accounting rules
An EU Wide Approach to Green Bond Standards & Labelling?
Such a move would accelerate green bond markets in the EU and attract significant capital commitments from institutional investors and pension funds.
Larger green debt markets would also support the HLEG recommendation around channelling more finance into sustainable infrastructure projects.
An EU wide standard and label for green bonds would also provide a powerful signal to potential sovereign issuers and boost the development of nascent green bond markets in emerging economies.
In combination, this sequence could go a long way towards reaching the $1trn by 2020 green bonds milestone, part of the six point plan to slow emissions growth outlined by global climate leaders in a recent statement published in Nature Magazine.
Interim Report: London Agenda
Coffee and Pastries 8.00-9.00am
Remarks by Jacqueline Heng 9.00-9.10am
Interim Report Overview 9.10-10.30am
Coffee Break 11.00-11.30am
Focused Discussions 11.30-12.00pm
Luncheon and Networking 12.00-1.30pm
Registration and Additional Information
If you’re in Brussels:
The European Commission will be hosting a public hearing on sustainable finance on Tuesday 18th July to launch a public consultation on the Interim Report. The hearing itself will also allow stakeholders to provide feedback and responses to the HLEG on the Interim Report.
You can register here.