ECON vote on the EU green bond proposal delayed
The EP’s Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee’s vote on its position on the EU green bonds proposal is delayed and expected for 28 April. It seems that this is due to diverging views on the inclusion of natural gas and nuclear energy within the EU Taxonomy. The European Commission (EC) put forward a complimentary delegated act that covers certain gas and nuclear activities. Rapporteur MEP Paul Tang (S&D, Netherlands) and other MEPs are against this inclusion – a joint letter signed by 102 MEPs was sent to the EC asking to withdraw the complimentary delegated act (see Twitter).
ESAs supervisory statement on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation application
The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) issued an updated joint supervisory statement to promote a consistent and effective application and national supervision of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The statement includes a new timeline, expectations about the explicit quantification of the product disclosures under the EU Taxonomy Art 5 and 6 as well as the use of estimates.
EC adopts disclosure rules on sustainable investments
The EC adopted technical standards via delegated regulation that are meant for disclosing sustainability-related information under the SFDR. Those standards precise the content, methodology and presentation of the disclosed information. Financial market participants will have to provide information on how they tackle and reduce possible negative impacts of their investments on environment and society. The EP and Council will have three months to object or not to the delegated regulation.
ESMA calls for experts in Sustainable Finance
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) seeks for approximately 20 members to join its newly established Consultative Working Group (CWG). CWG will support ESMA’s recently announced Sustainable Finance Roadmap for 2022-24 through technical input into various areas of ESMA’s sustainable finance work. The deadline to submit applications is 4 May 2022.
EFRAG progresses with sustainability reporting standard-setting
The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s (EFRAG) General Assembly appointed the Sustainability Reporting Board (SRB) which will be responsible for delivering the European sustainability reporting standards (ESRS). Wim Bartels, Chair of the Accountancy Europe Sustainability Policy Group, represents the accountancy profession in the SRB. The SRB is still missing the Chair, who will be appointed by the EC.
EFRAG also issued the Due Process Procedures for Sustainability Standard-Setting, which establishes the requirements for EFRAG to follow when acting as the technical advisor to the EC in the ESRS drafting.
EFRAG will launch the ESRS consultations by the end of April, with a 3 months comment period by 31 July 2022.
Lastly, EFRAG issued an open call for tenders to assist in the cost-benefit analysis of the first ESRS set. The deadline for applications is 28 April 2022.
EFRAG’s Working Papers on ESRS
Throughout the month, EFRAG continued issuing the Working Papers on the ESRS. These documents are made available for transparency purposes but are not subject to consultations yet. The following list is the complete set of currently publicly available working papers.
On conceptual guidelines for the standard setter:
The complete set on strategy, governance, impacts, risks, opportunities:
The complete set on environment topics:
The complete set on social topics:
The complete set on governance:
EC asks for feedback on Sustainable Corporate Due Diligence Directive
The EC issued a proposal for Sustainable Corporate Due Diligence Directive that is now open for feedback until 23 May. The Commission will summarise all received feedback and present to the EP and Council.
EC proposes to make sustainable products the norm in the EU
The EC proposed a regulation on sustainable products on 30 March. It sets new requirements to make products more sustainable. In addition, product-specific information requirements will ensure consumers know the environmental impact of their purchases. All regulated products will have Digital Product Passports. Labelling can be introduced as well. The purpose is to empower consumers in the green transition, improve their knowledge on the environmental sustainability of products and protect then against greenwashing.
EC consults on the ESG ratings and ESG factors used in credit ratings
The EC is seeking to better understand the functioning of the ESG ratings market and how credit rating agencies incorporate ESG risks in their creditworthiness assessment. Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback until 6 June. The Commission also issued a call for evidence to collect evidence in order to further develop a potential future policy initiative.
EU Platform on Sustainable Finance work on EU Taxonomy
The EU Platform on Sustainable Finance issued final reports on:
- extended environmental transition taxonomy intended to increase transparency in the entire economy. This is supposed to help all economic actors to share their transition stories. The report outlines a set of recommendations available here
- technical screening criteria for the four remaining EU Taxonomy objectives. The report outlines recommendations for the Taxonomy objectives 3-6 and how to improve the Taxonomy’s design and criteria