On 18 June 2019, the European Commission published new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting, as part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan. The guidelines are intended to provide companies with practical recommendations on how to better report the impact that their activities are having on the climate as well as the impact of climate change on their business.
The Commission’s expert group on sustainable finance has also published the following reports on:
- a classification system – or taxonomy – for environmentally-sustainable economic activities. This aims to provide practical guidance for policy makers, industry and investors on how best to support and invest in economic activities that contribute to achieving a climate neutral economy. The group has screened activities across a wide range of sectors and identified low-carbon activities in order to compile a comprehensive classification system for sustainable activities. The report is published as the Commission’s proposal on taxonomy awaits agreement by the co-legislators;
- an EU Green Bond Standard which recommends clear and comparable criteria for issuing green bonds; and
- EU climate benchmarks and benchmarks’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures. The report relates to the Commission’s proposal on low-carbon benchmarks, which has recently been agreed by the co-legislators. Among other things the report sets out disclosure requirements by benchmark providers in relation to environmental, social and governance factors and their alignment with the Paris Agreement.