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Signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking publish a portfolio impact analysis tool for banks

On 31 March 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) announced that a community of signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking and UNEP FI member banks had developed a portfolio impact analysis tool for banks (the Tool) together with a guidance document. The Tool guides banks through a holistic analysis of … Continue Reading

EU Sustainable Finance expert group issues final report on taxonomy and guide on green bonds

On 9 March 2020, the European Commission Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG)  published its final report on the taxonomy. The final report and its Annex present the TEG’s final recommendations to the European Commission (Commission) relating to the overarching design of the taxonomy, the technical screening criteria for climate change mitigation objectives, climate change … Continue Reading

Climate change and the financial sector

On 27 February 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a speech by its President, Christine Lagarde, entitled Climate change and the financial sector. Ms Lagarde focuses her remarks on climate change-related risks for the financial sector. Broadly speaking, the main risks fall into three categories: risks stemming from disregard, from delay and from deficiency. … Continue Reading

ESG in asset management – new webinar

As demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments increases, we consider what is driving demand, and the implications for asset managers, including changes to their duties and disclosure obligations. This webinar focuses on developments in the EU, with a particular focus on the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. The webinar can be found on … Continue Reading

ESMA sets out strategy on sustainable finance

On 6 February 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced its strategy on sustainable finance, setting out how the European Supervisory Authority will place sustainability at the core of its activities by embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors at the forefront of its work. The key priorities for ESMA highlighted in the … Continue Reading

European Parliament compromise text on a Proposed Regulation on sustainable investment framework

On 24 January 2020, the European Parliament published an updated version of the procedure file for the proposed Regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (known as the ‘Taxonomy Regulation’). The procedure file states that, on 16 January 2020, there was approval in committee of the text of the Taxonomy Regulation, … Continue Reading

ESG: German regulator publishes guidance notice on sustainability

The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has issued a guidance notice on dealing with sustainability risks (ESG Guidance Notice). The binding German version was published on 20 December 2019 and later editorially modified on 13 January 2020. Further, BaFin has now also made available an English convenience translation. The German regulator had launched a consultation based on … Continue Reading

EU technical expert group on sustainable finance handbook on climate benchmarks and ESG disclosures

On 20 December 2019, the EU technical expert group on sustainable finance (TEG) published a handbook on climate benchmarks and benchmarks’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures (the Handbook). The Handbook has been produced in response to frequently asked questions that the TEG encountered when presenting the EU Climate Transition Benchmark, the EU Paris Aligned … Continue Reading

Council of EU invites approval of final compromise text of proposed ‘taxonomy Regulation’

On 18 December 2019, the Council of the EU (Council) published an ‘I’ Item note (dated 17 December 2019) on the proposed Regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment. Following negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament (Parliament), political agreement between the institutions was achieved on 17 December 2019 – … Continue Reading

European Green Deal announced

On 11 December 2019, the European Commission (Commission) presented The European Green Deal – a roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas. To set into legislation the political ambition of Europe being the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050, the Commission will … Continue Reading

Linking of Switzerland to the EU emissions trading system – entry into force on 1 January 2020

On 9 December 2019, the European Commission announced that on 1 January 2020 Switzerland will become the first country to successfully link its greenhouse gas emissions trading system with the EU emissions trading system. This completes a process which has taken almost 10 years. On 17 December 2010, the Council authorised the Commission to open … Continue Reading

Disclosure Regulation and Low Carbon Benchmarks Regulation published in OJ

On 9 December 2019, there was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ): Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector (the Disclosure Regulation); and Regulation (EU) 2019/2089 of the European Parliament and of the Council of … Continue Reading

EBA action plan on sustainable finance

On 6 December 2019, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its action plan on sustainable finance outlining its proposed timeline for delivering mandates relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. The EBA’s remit and mandates on ESG factors and risks are set out in the following legislative acts: the amended Regulation establishing the EBA; … Continue Reading

Council and Parliament reach provisional compromise on EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Proposal

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament have reached a provisional compromise agreement on the Commission proposal for a regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investments (the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Regulation). After a fifth round of political trilogue negotiations on 3 December 2019, a sixth round was required on … Continue Reading

ECB speech on regulation, proportionality and the sustainability of banking

On 21 November 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a speech given by Andrea Enria, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the ECB, at the European Savings and Retail Banking Group Conference, “Creating sustainable financial structures by putting citizens first” focusing on banking reforms, the case for a proportionate approach to regulation and sustainable … Continue Reading

ECB speech on implications of the transition to a low carbon economy

On 21 November 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a speech given by Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, at the European Savings and Retail Banking Group Conference, “Creating sustainable financial structures by putting citizens first” focusing on the risks for the financial system in relation to climate change and its role in … Continue Reading

EU co-legislators hold second round of trilogue negotiations on Sustainable Finance Taxonomy

On Wednesday 6 November 2019 the EU legislators held their second trilogue negotiation round on the proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (hereinafter: the ‘Taxonomy proposal’). The proposed regulation will establish the conditions and the framework to create a unified classification system on what economy activities can … Continue Reading

Council of EU adopts Disclosure Regulation and Low Carbon Benchmarks Regulation at first reading

On 24 October 2019, the Council of the EU published the texts it adopted at first reading for the: the Regulation on disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks in the financial services sector (the Disclosure Regulation); and the Regulation amending the Benchmarks Regulation as regards EU Climate Transition Benchmarks, EU Paris-aligned Benchmarks and … Continue Reading

Financial Services Reception “Sustainability – sustainability through regulation”

On 5 November 2019, our colleagues in Germany will be holding an event on sustainability through regulation. The event offers an insight into the legal background as well as a panel discussion about sustainability as an opportunity to discuss current developments, innovations and the effects of legal framework conditions. For further information and to register, … Continue Reading

Commission consultation on final Basel III reforms – spotlight on ESG risks

As previously blogged, the European Commission (Commission) has launched a public consultation on the implementation of the final elements of the Basel III reforms. Chapter 8 of the Commission consultation document covers sustainable finance. The Commission notes three actions that have been identified by the co-legislators in the course of the recent legislative review of … Continue Reading
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