EU Committee

Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy

Location: Online Webinar
Access: Full members only
Fee for members: 0
Fee for non-members: 75
The Internal Market Committee hosted ‘Renewed Sustainable Finace Strategy’ with MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen from the ECON Committee and Victor van Hoorn, Executive Director of Eurosif.

The European Commission first announced its commitment to tackling Climate Change December 11 2019. Following this announcement, the European Union has been determined to be the first continent to achieve Climate Neutrality. On July 14 2021 the Commission has formally proposed a transformation of the EU economy and society to meet their climate ambitions by 2050.
The European Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package establish a set of policies that will ensure that the EU economy is fit to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. However, the drafting and implementation of both policies is expected to be a challenging task.

The event kicked-off by discussing the success of mobilising a green commitment amongst Member States depends as much on Taxonomy regulation as it does for Fit for 55 package. This means drafting a suitable policy regulation that is clear and complete for all Member States. Regarding Taxonomy, the EU needs to develop a taxonomy regulation that classifies activities taking into account their green and social aspect. When addressing the taxonomy framework, the European Parliament needs to be politically sensitive for two reasons. Nowadays, sustainable finance has a more holistic approach, therefore they need to consider several factors and agents. Secondly, it will be difficult for the Parliament to set the different climate objectors and mitigations: what can be considered as scientifically correct. In this case, participants were particularly concerned with the ongoing nuclear vs gas debate.

Next, it was agreed that once the Taxonomy and Fit for 55 package will have been drafted, the EU will have to complete the final step, which will prove to be the most difficult one as a broad consensus on numerous sectos of the economy will need to be reached. These new policy measures will have different social objectives and impacts, not only on producers but also on consumers. In addition, it will be hard to politically distinguish from a qualitative and quantitative ESG spell out requirement. In this sense, it was suggested that the market should also act as an arbitrator during this green transition.

In conclusion, the EU’s plan to become the first climate-neutral continent and put in place the Fit for 55 package and Taxonomy will prove to be a challenging task. Firstly, it will be difficult to achieve transparency and sustainability from all of the agents. In this sense, companies might not be willing to report any disclosure regulation due to confidentiality. Therefore the European Parliament will need to revise rules periodically to ensure that it can be properly applied in the practical aspect. However, the most important task for the EU is to provide a basis for future reporting, so that agents working in sustainable finance have a guideline to follow. Although for this process the EU will have to deal with various ministeries, this will allow the EU to accomplish their Green Deal objectives.

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Confirmed Sirpa Pietikäinen

Sirpa Pietikäinen

MEP - EPP - FI, European Parliament
Sirpa Pietikäinen is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament. She is a former Minister of the Environment in Finland (1991-1995), and a Member of the parliament from 1983 to 2003 and Member of the European Parliament since 2008. At the European Parliament, Ms Pietikäinen is a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and Women’s Right and Gender Equality Committee, and a substitute member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. Within her work, she seeks to combine her two specialities, that of environment and economics. Ms Pietikäinen is a strong advocate of a transition to a circular economy and sustainable finance, and served as the lead negotiator on behalf of European Parliament and the EPP group on the first Sustainable Finances legislative initiatives, Disclosure and Taxonomy Regulations as well as on the Parliament's Own Initiative Report on Sustainable Finance. A graduate from the Helsinki School of Economics, Ms. Pietikäinen holds MSc in Business, and teaches university courses on negotiations theory and practices. She is active in several organisations, her positions of trust including Chairmanship of the Globe EU.