The European Commission publishes Action Plan for greener economy

European Commission published its Action Plan for sustainable finance today. It
is an important step in the collective effort against climate change. The
Action Plan includes a set of methods to, for example, steer capital towards
sustainable investments. It is largely based on the recommendations made by the
Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG).

”It’s excellent that the Commission has listened to the HLEG. The Commission published the Action Plan very soon after the HLEG’s report, which is a sign of the importance of sustainable finance”, praises Piia-Noora Kauppi, Managing Director of Finance Finland (FFI).

The HLEG’s goal was to make a comprehensive review of the entire financial system, identify areas where urgent changes are needed, and develop specific recommendations for these areas.

”Given the complexity and breadth of the financial system and its policy and regulatory framework, there is no single lever to achieve these ambitions and ’switch’ the financial system to sustainability. We therefore need a versatile set of measures”, Kauppi states.

Sustainable development requires changes to the real economy and all sectors to take part in it.

”The recommendations in the Action Plan improve the opportunities for the financial sector to support sustainability and the goals of the Paris climate accord. It should be noted, however, that the financial sector cannot be a sole driving force behind sustainability. What it can do is support the changes others want to make”, states Esko Kivisaari, Deputy Managing Director at the FFI and a member of the HLEG.

The recommendations in HLEG’s final report aim to support sustainable finance in a way that doesn’t increase regulatory burden or complexity for the financial sector.

According to Kivisaari, The ultimate test of the HLEG will not just be the degree to which its recommendations are adopted, but the extent to which sustainable finance becomes a permanent feature of European markets and policy‐making. The HLEG hopes to stimulate a wide public debate that helps shift Europe’s financial system from post‐crisis stabilisation to supporting long‐term growth.

Kivisaari, too, is pleased with the Commission’s Action Plan. He encourages all stakeholders to consider the positive change that is possible through sustainable finance.

Additional information:
European Commission press release