Press Release

Commission launches plan to make EU sustainable finance world leader

Green finance
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The European Commission has today published its first ever Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, setting out a comprehensive strategy to make Europe the world’s sustainable finance leader. The Action Plan has been commended for including many of the recommendations by the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, set up by the Commission last year.

The report sets out a suite of actions to:

  1. Reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment, in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth;
  2. Manage financial risks stemming from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues; and
  3. Foster transparency and long-termism in financial and economic activity.

Ingrid Holmes, Director at E3G and Member of the High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance said:

“The European Commission has now set the benchmark for sustainable finance reforms globally. This puts the EU on an accelerated path to deliver on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The resolve and ambition of the Commission should be commended. This plan will help to reshape the financial system as a tool for good."

Nick Mabey, CEO at E3G said: 

“Competition is heating up between China and the EU to spearhead the transition towards sustainable development, with the United States currently absent at a national level. Today, the EU has set out its stall to become the global leader by placing finance at the heart of the transition.

The proposals to mobilise sustainable infrastructure investment by creating a Single Investment Fund and boosting technical assistance capacity as part of the next EU Budget have huge potential. But they are at risk of being weakened in the Budget fight between Member States and the Commission must be prepared to defend them.”

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Senior Associate at E3G: 

"This is an ambitious plan, which will help to integrate sustainability across the entire investment chain. The European Supervisory Authorities will have a crucial role to ensure momentum is not lost and these actions become high impact reforms.

The Commission's clear acknowledgement of the increasing physical risks posed by climate change should also focus the minds of those implementing the plan on the need to work together for high ambition outcomes."

For more information please contact:

Ingrid.holmes@e3g.org - +44 (0)7825 829592

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The EU Commission publication can be found here.
  2. E3G is an independent global think tank, working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. E3G specializes in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance.
  3. In 2017, E3G was ranked the 5th top environmental policy think tank for the second year running in the Global Go To Think Tank Index.