Action Plan on Sustainable Finance (communication)

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EESC opinion: Action Plan on Sustainable Finance (communication)

Key points

A sound system of sustainable finance, with a long-term approach, is the most important driver for restoring trust in the markets and connecting savings to sustainable investments, providing complementary sources of funding for SMEs and strengthening green and social infrastructure projects.

The EESC supports the Commission's road map on financing sustainable growth, but wishes to make a number of comments:

  • It is important to make the financial value chain more sustainable as a whole.
  • The proposed taxonomy should be dynamic and updated on a regular basis. A suitable starting point would be the configuration of environmental factors (E), while introducing safeguards in the social sectors and in relation to good corporate governance.
  • The ten proposed actions are internally consistent and interact with each other. The right balance is therefore needed between them.
  • The green supporting factor should be linked with methods based on robust empirical evidence as the reduced prudential capital requirements incentive should only come into play where there is evidence of reduced non-financial risk.
  • The publication of high-quality, complete, relevant, harmonised and comparable non-financial information that can be verified is a precondition for linking the new taxonomy with the (financial and non-financial) performance of companies.
  • To facilitate easier and safe access for investors, "flagship pan-European sustainable financial products" should be created, beginning with the "Pan-European Personal Pensions Products" (PEPP).
  • Financial education should be compulsory to ensure that people understand this new approach of sustainable finance and thereby encourage socially responsible retail investment.
  • The EESC highlights the potential of artificial intelligence for aligning the preferences of investors with the destination of investments.

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Article by Carlos Trias, rapporteur