Stockholm (NordSIP) – While most Europeans are slowly succumbing to the summer doldrums, the work of EU’s sustainability legislators seems only to have intensified lately. Just last week, the Council of the European Union adopted the European climate law, including the goal of a climate-neutral EU by 2050. Next week, a host of important legislative updates on renewable energy and carbon emissions are due to be published. And earlier today, the European Commission presented its widely anticipated New Sustainable Finance Strategy and a European Green Bond Standard.
In his remarks at today’s press conference, Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis pointed out the importance of recognising sustainable transition efforts and finding ways to finance them. He briefly introduced the EU green bond standard, which, according to him, is fully aligned with the taxonomy classification system. “This will help to fight greenwashing, recognise bonds that truly represent a sustainable investment and ensure the integrity of this market,” concluded Dombrovskis.
Yet another step aimed at preventing greenwashing is the Delegated Act adopted by the Commission today, which requires large financial and non-financial companies to provide information to investors about the environmental performance of their assets and economic activities aligned with the EU taxonomy system.
Dombrovskis then passed on the word to Commissioner McGuinness to present a summary of the new Strategy for Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy. “There are four pillars to our strategy,” she explained, “transition, inclusiveness, resilience and the global perspective.” She mentioned that the Commission is considering “an intermediate Taxonomy”, which would complement the existing green Taxonomy and allow, among other things, for further developing transition bonds.
Both Dombrovskis and McGuinness stressed that the efforts to build a sustainable financial system should go beyond Europe and how crucial it is to ensure that the international work is coherent and ambitious. “We want to get more countries to come on board with us because the truth is Europe alone will not solve the climate crisis,” concluded McGuinness.
The exact details of the policy documents are to be analysed and discussed in the coming days and weeks. Still, the main message from the Commission is clear: we need the financial system to be resilient, and there is no time to waste in achieving this.