Sustainable Finance

June 2020

  • European Commission calls for sustainable finance experts
  • European Parliament adopts the EU Taxonomy Regulation

Coalition publishes a joint statement on the revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive in the context of COVID-19

On 22 June, ACCA, Accountancy Europe, Association of Germans Banks (BdB), CDSB, EFAMA, Frank Bold, IIGC, Schroders, ShareAction, WWF published seven recommendations for the upcoming revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive. The group is used as platform for collaboration and coordination and can serve in the future as a useful forum for further interactions with the EU institutions. The statement was supported by BNP Paribas AM and Candriam while not being part of the informal group itself.

The European Union, and the world economy, are facing one of the biggest challenges of our time in designing the means and tools to foster a green economic recovery. It is more important than ever for both the private and the public sector to work together on policy priorities governments should take in reaction to this crisis. We believe that the Non-Financial Reporting Directive should make a leap forward in improving the quality, comparability, and consistency of environmental, social and governance (ESG) information.

As a group of stakeholders with different backgrounds, but a common interest in sustainable finance, we believe the following matters are instrumental in the upcoming revision of the NFRD:

  1. Expand the scope beyond large listed companies
  2. Disclose non-financial information in the annual management report
  3. Strengthen the social and governance aspects
  4. Develop minimum mandatory reporting requirements
  5. Build on existing reporting initiatives (to achieve comprehensive non-financial reporting)
  6. Keep up the international role for reporting standards
  7. Ensure legislative consistency and avoid duplication of reporting legislation

Read full statement

European Commission calls for sustainable finance experts

On 18 June, the European Commission announced a call for applications to the advisory platform on sustainable finance. This platform will act as an advisory body to the Commission on the EU Taxonomy technical screening criteria, but also on the review of the EU Taxonomy, including other sustainability objectives and sustainable finance policy om a broader sense. The Commission intends to appoint representatives of seven public bodies: European Environment Agency, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the three European Supervisory Agencies and the European Agency for Fundamental Rights. The deadline to apply 16 July 2020. Read more

European Parliament approves the EU Taxonomy Regulation

On 18 June, the Parliament adopted the EU Taxonomy Regulation which lays down the fundamentals allowing to determine whether an economic activity is an environmentally friendly one. The EU Taxonomy Regulation enters into force on 12 July 2020. The Commission has already started the work on the first delegated acts on climate change mitigation and adaptation to be adopted by end 2020. Read more

European Commission consults on the establishment of an EU Green Bond Standard

On 12 June, the European Commission issued a public consultation on the creation of an European Standard for green bonds. The Commission aims to gather further input of a technical nature from relevant stakeholders in the green bond market to further inform a possible legislative proposal. Deadline to respond – 2 October 2020.  Read more The Commission also issued an inception impact assessment which is opened for feedback till 7 August 2020.

Climate change: relevant IPSASB guidance

On 22 June, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board staff issued Questions and Answers on the relevance of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and related recommended practice guidance for reporting on both climate change and the UN’s Sustainable Development (SDGs) in the general purpose financial reports of the public sector entities. Read more

GRI is reviewing its universal standards

On 11 June, the Global Sustainability Board (GSSB) consults on the exposure draft of the revised Universal Standard (GRI 101, 102, 103) to improve quality and consistency of reporting, also to improve how organisations use the Standards to disclose their impacts on the economy, environment, and people. Deadline to respond – 9 September 2020. Read more

IIRC consults on the revision of the <IR> Framework

On 21 May, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) opened a consultation to seek feedback on the proposed revisions to the International <IR> Framework. The IIRC foresees the revision of the framework in order to ensure the <IR> Framework responds to the evolving market context and supports robust, effective reporting. The deadline to respond – 19 August 2020.  Read moreThis curated content was brought to you by Vita Ramanauskaité, Accountancy Europe senior policy advisor since 2015. You can send her tips by email, follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.