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Sustainable finance strategy to tackle future pandemics

Sustainable finance strategy to tackle future pandemics
10 April 2020

It is true that the coronavirus outbreak shows that European Union must strengthen the sustainable development in order to ensure the resilience of our society and economy to recover from such emergencies. European Union should rebuild the economy and  introduce the necessary recovery plans to bring renewed and sustainable progress.

The European Green Deal is the solution to the transition to a sustainable economy in order to mitigate the risks and costs of inaction from climate change and biodiversity losses. Like COVID-19, climate change, biodiversity loss, and financial collapses do not observe national or even physical borders. That is why it is important-now more than ever-to protect the ecosystems and wildlife.

In this context, a more sustainable financial system should  contribute to mitigate existing and future risks, as well as support the prevention of pandemics.

This could be achieved by ensuring that the financial sector supports businesses o towards sustainability, as well as further supporting businesses that are already sustainable.

For this reason, the European Green Deal announced a Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy. The Commission’s aim is to adopt the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy in the second half of 2020.

On 8 April 2020 the European Commission published a consultation on its forthcoming Renewed Sustainable Finance Action Plan . The updated Commission action plan comes as a follow-up to its initial 2018 Sustainable Finance Action Plan and is meant to broaden and deepen the EU sustainable finance regulatory framework. Building on from the legislative and regulatory initiatives in the 2018 Action Plan, the great majority of which is in place or due to be officially adopted, the European Commission is looking for ways to further develop its policy.

The Renewed Sustainable Finance Action Plan will predominantly focus on three areas:

  1. create a strong basis to enable sustainable investment
  2. increase opportunities for citizens, financial institutions and corporates to have a positive impact on society and the environment
  3.  fully manage and integrate climate and environmental risks into the financial system

The consultation, which consists of 102 questions, considers a great number of subjects and issues in the field of sustainable finance. In particular, questions are included on the promotion of sustainable investment products to retail investors and the possibility of establishing a so-called brown category within the sustainable finance taxonomy, under which environmentally harmful activities would be groupe. The Commission is also seeking stakeholder views on the usability of the sustainable finance taxonomy, as currently set out in the report of the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance The consultation is open for comments until 15 July 2020 and can be found here.

Member States and organisations such as pension and insurance providers, insurance companies, asset managers, banks, financial advisors, service providers (index providers, research providers), non-financial companies, law firms, NGOs, academia, public authorities and other stakeholders can contribute to this consultation.The aim of this public consultation is to collect the views and opinions of interested parties in order to inform the Commissions renewed strategy on sustainable.The Commission will take the feedback received into account when articulating its final updated Sustainable Finance Action Plan.

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