The European Parliament (EP) and the Council met for the fifth time to continue the negotiations on the EU green bond standard that led to an agreement on 28 February (see Council’s and the EP’s release).
Under the provisional agreement:
The provisional agreement will have to be approved by the EP at the plenary sitting and Council at Coreper level.
The European Commission (EC) proposed common criteria against greenwashing and misleading environmental claims in the substantial green claims directive. The proposal covers all voluntary claims about the environmental impacts, aspects or performance of a product or the trader. However, it excludes claims already covered by existing the EU rules, such as the EU Ecolabel or the organic food logo. Green claims will need to be independently verified and proven with scientific evidence. Stakeholders can provide their feedback on the proposal by 18 May.
The EC proposed the Net-Zero Industry Act on 16 March. The aim is to scale up manufacturing of clean technologies and ensure the EU is well-equipped for the clean-energy transition. EC President von der Leyen announced this initiative as a part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan.
In her speech at the EP plenary, EC President von der Leyen indicated the EC’s plans to put forward concrete proposals to simplify reporting requirements by reducing them by 25%. In her speech on 21 March, Commissioner McGuinness noted that the EC asked EFRAG to prioritise its efforts and focus on providing additional guidance for companies to apply the first set of European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). Consequently, this would delay the sector–specific standards public consultation.
EFRAG issued the Basis for Conclusions for the first set of draft ESRS delivered to the EC in November 2022.
EFRAG also published educational videos for these draft ESRS.
EFRAG’s Sustainability Reporting Board (SRB) appointed:
A group of MEPs note that EFRAG has limited capacity and resources, and the CSRD sets ambitious deadlines. This might put at risk the quality of the standards being developed. Thus, MEPs asked whether the EC would consider providing at least 1 million Euros more to EFRAG.
The EP’s European People’s Party (EPP) held a stakeholder meeting on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D) on 8 March. Shadow rapporteur Axel Voss (EPP, Germany) chaired the meeting. The discussion focused on the most conflictual points between the EPP and the Socialists (S&Ds), notably:
MEP Axel Voss confirmed the EPP on its own does not have the majority to ensure the reflection of their positions in the text.
The Nordic Industries have sent a joint letter to the EP rapporteurs on the CS3D, calling to exclude corporate governance rules from the CS3D. They argue that there is a significant risk that the proposed Directive would harm business. It would also reduce businesses’ continued successful contribution to developing a sustainable economy and society.
ESMA’s Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) issued advice on additional questions on greenwashing:
The IFRS Foundation held the IFRS Sustainability Symposium, which brought together stakeholders from 45 countries, incl. businesses, investors, policymakers, and regulators. IFRS Foundation published seven takeaways that also included the importance of global comparability and the need for capacity building. Other news:
ACCA issued a report that: