EU Committee


Location: Online Webinar
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On the 13th July we were delighted to welcome Elisabetta Siracusa, Principal Adviser in the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), for an insightful discussion on taxonomy. Ms. Siracusa is, in particular, in charge of advising the Director-General on sustainable finance, an essential component of the Green Deal, a key priority for this Commission.

The Taxonomy is a part of the broader EU ambition to establish a system of sustainable finance, which would serve as a blueprint for environmentally sound investments. Intended to classify environmentally sustainable economic activities, the Taxonomy should serve as the reference point for both policymakers legislating on environmental policies, and to investors seeking guidance on which projects constitute a more substantial contribution to the green transition.

Climate change is becoming a part of the financial conversation more and more due to the fact that it is a financial stability risk, for instance 350 billion euros of annual extra investment are needed to meet the 2030 targets to for energy investments alone. These underscore the importance of sustainable finance, which is why last week the commission adopted a new Sustainable Finace Strategy to tell stakeholders and financial institutions the direction that the Commission is giving.

This strategy is based on four pillars:
• Transition – the strategy indicates the need to support transition to sustainability, and with this includes the need for more support for intermediary steps.
• Inclusiveness – improve the inclusiveness of small and medium sized enterprises, and consumers, by giving them the right tools and incentives to access transition finance.
• Resilience - how to improve the resilience of the economic and financial system to sustainability risks.
• Global perspective – this includes: giving support to third countries and work closely with them in a variety of contexts, continuing to fly the flag for ambitious standards at the global level, and the acceleration of the work of G7 and G20.

The Commission is also working on the EU Green Bonds Standard which will create a high-quality voluntary bond for financing sustainable investment. The core objective of this is to create a new ‘gold standard’ in the short to medium term for green bonds that other market standards can be compared to. The standard will also aim to address concerns on greenwashing and protecting market integrity to ensure that legitimate environmental projects are financed.

What we can take from these initiatives is the notion that we want to look at what we can do for a greater support of a transition to get to where we need to be for the 2030 and 2050 goals as the financial sector will be key in helping to meet the targets of the European Green Deal. Moreover, these initiatives highlight the EU’s global leadership in setting international standards for sustainable finance.

As we can see from this overview of these important initiatives, this is a developing issue and so we look forward to future exchanges on the topic.

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Confirmed Katie Power

Katie Power

Policy Coordinator, Commissioner McGuinness Cabinet,


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