The EU Sustainable Finance Platform: Where are the owners?

EU’s Sustainable Finance Platform lacks asset owners

The EU has published the list of members appointed to its Sustainable Finance Platform, which is remarkable in its lack of representation of asset owners.

The platform is an advisory body made up of experts from the private and public sector and its members will advise the European Commission on the development of technical screening criteria for the EU Taxonomy and policy development.

It will also advise the Commission on the further development of the EU Taxonomy to cover other sustainability objectives and provide advice on sustainable finance more broadly.

The platform consists of 57 members, 50 of which have been selected through a call for applications and include several large companies and asset managers such as BNP Paribas, Allianz, Airbus and E.ON.

However, there is a dearth of asset owners such as pension and sovereign wealth funds on the list.

The only two representatives of asset owners on the platform are Dutch pension investor PGGM and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).

The world’s 100 largest pension funds and sovereign wealth funds have over $19 trillion of assets under management, according to figures from Willis Tower Watson, so the EU seems to have really missed a major section of the market.

The platform will play a crucial role in the development of the EU taxonomy and sustainable finance strategy in the coming years, providing valuable ideas and input to drive green finance and channel investment into green economic activities.

The taxonomy regulation aims to assist investors and companies by providing a common language for sustainable activities, as well as helping them reduce emissions.

It is also hoped the taxonomy will reduce greenwashing, when companies make false claims about their green credentials.

The new regulation is going to cause a profound change in the nature of the financial services industry across Europe, so asset owners need to be a part of any decision making process.

With the taxonomy playing such a big part in delivering a sustainable economy, it is vital that asset owners have a voice on the relevant issues.

Last Updated: 9 October 2020
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