The appeal launched by the European Union’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), set up by the EU Commission in June 2018 to set the rules for investing in a green economy reads as follows: “The opportunity for a resilient, sustainable and fair economic recovery is right in front of us. We encourage all governments, public institutions and the private sector to use the right tools for the purpose. And to seize this opportunity.”
For almost two years now, they have been working to determine which economic activities can be considered sustainable, how to direct private capital, in addition to public capital, towards a green economy. Now that Europe and individual governments are allocating billions for economic recovery from the crisis triggered by the coronavirus, the EU Commission turns directly to EU governments and asks them to also use environmental criteria to direct the funds allocated for recovery.
The ongoing health crisis and the resulting economic paralysis have not stopped the work being done in Brussels around the rules for sustainable finance. After the agreement between the committee, the Council and the EU Parliament reached last December and after the publication of the Teg final report (on March 9th), the Council of the European Union approved on April 16th, the regulation to classify sustainable economic activities. In order for the regulation to become official, the Parliament’s second reading is now missing.
“This is an important job,” said Anna Fasano, President of Banca Etica, “to have a common vocabulary within the European Union is a step towards the recognition of a type of finance and sustainability that does not aim at mere speculation. It aims to support the real economy, to disinvest from companies involved in the production of weapons and fossil fuels and instead support companies that care about the environment, the rights of workers and local communities.