On 22 December 2016, the European Commission appointed the members of the High-Level Expert Group on sustainable finance. The Group, which will start meeting as of January 2017, comprises 20 policy leaders from civil society, the finance sector and academia.
The establishment of this Group was announced in the Communication on accelerating implementation of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) of 14 September 2016. The objective is that the Expert Group provides, by the end of 2017, recommendations for a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union. The Commission will draw on these recommendations to determine how to integrate sustainability considerations into the EU's rules for the financial sector. This marks an important step in the follow-up to the EU's 2030 Agenda for sustainable development as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change.
In response to the call for applications published on 28 October 2016, the European Commission received 103 eligible applications from civil society, the business and finance community as well as other non-public sector institutions. The Commission selected 20 highly qualified candidates on the basis of their personal expertise, their contribution to work relevant to sustainable finance, as well as the prominence of their affiliation in this area. The Commission has also taken steps to ensure a geographical and gender balance in the Group's membership.
European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "We are committed to promoting sustainable finance in Europe. In appointing the members of our high level expert group, we have drawn on the best talent and expertise there is. They will ensure our approach to sustainable finance is ambitious and at the forefront of innovation. They will help us hardwire sustainability into EU financial policy."
Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen stated that: "The finance sector has a critical role to play in re-orienting capital towards more sustainable technologies and uses, and financing Europe's energy transition needs. Because of its longer-term horizons, the finance sector is also more exposed to environmental risk. On both counts, Europe needs to develop a proactive and coherent strategy to anchor sustainability in financial regulation and policy-making. This is crucial for jobs, growth and competitiveness. The Expert Group report has the potential to make a landmark contribution to shaping European policy".
To read the full press release, please visit the relevant European Commission webpage at the link below.