Sustainability and Solvency II – What are the risks?


NordSIP (Stockholm) – On Wednesday, January 16, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) issued a Call for Evidence to collect information from market participants on the integration of sustainability risks and factors in the prudential assessment of assets and liabilities for insurers and (re)insurers.

The Call for Evidence comes as a response to the European Commission’s (EC) August 28 2018 request that EIOPA assess whether Solvency II presents any inherent incentives and/or disincentives to sustainable investment as part of the Action Plan and related legislative package on sustainable finance adopted by the EC in March 2018 and May 2018, respectively. The Call for Evidence will consider how sustainability risks affect (re)insurers’ investments, with a particular focus on climate change and collect market practices on insurance underwriting and will be carried out by National Competent Authorities.

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On the occasion of the EC’s own consultation on its May 2018 package, Insurance Europe, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, welcomed “the EU’s efforts to make the European economy greener and more resilient”. It was particularly sensitive to the EC’s proposal on the “taxonomy” framework that assists the insurance industry in weighing the different components of the environment, sustainability and governance in a sustainable way that is not discriminatory to the preferences of any specific society.

It also argued that “a EU taxonomy for sustainability must first be prioritised and accelerated. Any sustainability-related regulatory requirements linked to the taxonomy should remain voluntary until the taxonomy is sufficiently mature, so that market players are not exposed to uncertainty and legal risks.”

Based on the collected evidence and analysis EIOPA will prepare the draft Opinion for consultation during the second half of 2019 for submission to the European Commission in Q3/2019.

The deadline for submission to this Call for Evidence is Friday, 8 March 2019.

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