Stamp of approval for EU’s sustainable finance efforts

Magdalena Kettis 2017
Magdalena Kettis
17-05-31 11:43 | Sustainability | Responsible business | Responsible investment

The European Financial Services Round Table (EFR) is very supportive of the European Union (EU) in taking action on sustainable finance to meet goals set out in the Paris Agreement, but calls for more action in a letter sent to the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance within the European Commission.

“This is a really good example of how the financial services industry can come together and impact regulators and decision makers for the greater good,” says Maria Stolpe, Head of Group Public Affairs at Nordea and part of the EFR on an associate level.

The EFR is a roundtable organisation of chairmen and chief executives of Europe's leading banks and insurance companies. The EFR working group on sustainable finance is represented by Magdalena Kettis, an expert with a solid background in sustainability who works with sustainable finance at Nordea.

Nordea a key player 

At the end of 2016, the European Commission announced the members of a High-Level Expert working group on sustainable finance. The Expert Group is set to provide recommendations for a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance.

“The Expert Group does not have any representation from the largest banks in the region so the letter and the proposed meeting is an important input from Nordea and other big actors who are key players in the funding and development of a more sustainable financial sector,” says Magdalena, Head of Thematic Research, Group Sustainable Finance at Nordea  

Sustainable finance has been one of the main focus areas for EFR in 2015 and 2016 and will remain one in 2017 and in the years to come. As the EFR is committed to helping the EU deliver on these commitments, in particular in supporting a strong climate action agenda, the EFR has sent a letter to propose a meeting between the EFR delegation and the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance. In the letter, the EFR declares its support and dedication for the European Union (EU) in taking action on sustainable finance in order to meet the commitments made at COP21 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

More needs to be done

Overall, the EFR welcomes the progress made in 2016 by the EU to put our economy onto a more sustainable path. But to truly ensure that sustainability is embedded across all EU activities – particularly for the financial sector – more must be done through the right combination of policy choices. 

More specifically, there are four key areas where the EFR would welcome strengthened efforts: 

• Incentivise capital and supply of green projects

• Boost transparency on SDG funding gap

• Increase transparency around sustainability risks

• Better understand, manage and mitigate sustainability risks.

For more details, read the letter in its entirety here (pdf, 1 MB).

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