The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has published its opinion on the European Commission’s Sustainable Finance Package. The package consists of:
- the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the EESC entitled ‘EU taxonomy, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, Sustainability Preferences and Fiduciary Duties: Directing finance towards the European Green Deal’;
- a Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Regulation (EU) 2020/825;
- a proposal for a new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive;
- amended delegated acts under MiFiD II and the Insurance Distribution Directive; and
- amendments to other delegated acts regarding fiduciary duties, asset management, insurance, reinsurance and investment.
The EESC’s key conclusions and recommendations include:
- welcoming the Sustainable Finance Package;
- underscoring the urgency of efficient measures to understand climate chance and to reduce emissions;
- recognising the role of the Delegated Regulation in creating transparency, preventing ‘greenwashing’ and spreading awareness of investment in sustainable projects;
- identifying the need for a precise definition of the technical criteria set out in the Delegated Regulation that meet the ambition of a low-carbon economy for Europe;
- underscoring the importance of adequate monitoring to prevent distortive effects on financial markets; and
- noting that some provisions in the Delegated Regulation may be over ambitions, and others may be unclear or inconsistent.
The EESC, having considered the above, questions whether the Delegated Regulation is fit for purpose in its present form, and recommends that the Commission make proposals to heighten the standards of EU environmental legislation. The Committee also notes that the issue of the EU taxonomy of climate and environment harming activities remains open and should urgently be addressed.