Meeting the Paris Agreement will require a major shift in financial investments away from fossil fuels towards mitigation and climate resilience. The combination of an increasing volume and demand in sustainable investments on the one hand, and a lack of harmonised criteria to characterise these investments on the other, led ISO to initiate the development of a series of international standards on environmental finance. Addressed primarily at financial institutions and institutional investors, these standards could make a substantial contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Large companies in the EU are obliged to disclose information on their environmental and social responsibility actions – but no standard reporting methods exist, making it impossible to compare actions across companies. To tackle this problem, ECOS asked the Commission to introduce common indicators under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), currently under review.
In March 2020, the sustainable finance technical expert group (TEG) established by the European Commission published its final report, giving recommendations for technical screening criteria for economic activities that can make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation, while avoiding significant harm to the environment.
As part of the Taxonomy Regulation, the EU has reflected on the identification of “environmentally sustainable” economic activities in order to channel public and private investments towards these activities.