Sustainable Finance (Taxonomy)
On 6th July the European Commission adopted its second Sustainable Finance Package composed by a renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy, the proposal for a Regulation on European Green Bonds (EUGBS) and the delegated act on taxonomy reporting rules.
The new sustainable finance strategy aims to support the financing of the transition to a sustainable economy by proposing action in four number of areas: transition finance, inclusiveness, resilience and contribution of the financial system and global ambition. The renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy identifies four main areas where additional actions are needed for the financial system to fully support the transition of the economy towards sustainability. Those areas, supported by six sets of actions are: the financing of the transition to a sustainability; inclusiveness; financial sector resilience and contribution; and global ambition.
The European Green Bond Standards (EUGBS) proposes a voluntary standard for the European green bonds, based on the taxonomy. This standard will facilitate companies and public authorities to finance their sustainable transition. The proposal is now for discussion within the European Council and Parliament. There are four key requirements under the proposed framework
- Taxonomy-alignment: The funds raised by the bond should be allocated fully to projects that are aligned with the EU taxonomy.
- Transparency: Full transparency on how the bond proceeds are allocated through detailed reporting requirements
- External review: All European green bonds must be checked by an external reviewer to ensure compliance with the Regulation and taxonomy alignment of the funded projects.
- Supervision by the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) of reviewers.
Finally, as part of the package, the European Commission has adopted the Delegated Act on taxonomy reporting rules (art. 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation) which require financial and non-financial companies to provide information to investors about the environmental performance of their assets and economic activities. The Delegated Act defines the content, methodology and presentation of information to be disclosed. Non-financial companies will have to share their turnover, capital and operational expenditure associated with environmentally sustainable economic activities. The Delegated Act will be transmitted for scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council for a period of 4 months, extendable once by 2 months. As you know, regarding additional sustainable activities in the EU Taxonomy, the strategy confirms Commission’s intention to adopt a complementary EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act expected after summer 2021 and a technical screening criteria for the remaining four environmental objectives under the Taxonomy Regulation to be adopted in the first half of 2022. The Commission will report on the Strategy’s implementation by the end of 2023.