The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has outlined the industry’s priorities that should underpin the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy, the EU plan for channelling private capital towards sustainable investments. Responding to the European Commission consultation, AFME has called on the Commission to provide more clarity to corporates, banks and investors over the roadmap to the decarbonisation targets set out in the Paris Agreement. AFME highlighted that only a holistic approach, supported by a strong public-private partnership and a globally coordinated policy will achieve the deep structural change required to transition into a more sustainable EU economy.
AFME is calling on the Commission to:
- Provide a clear roadmap for the transition of the real economy, including industry specific milestones and frameworks such as the appropriate pace of phasing out stranded assets.
- Deliver a strong partnership of the public and private sector, with actions including market-based carbon pricing mechanisms, a plan to gradually phase out blanket government subsidies to high carbon emitting industries, and fiscal policy incentives to green issuers/borrowers and investors/lenders.
- Promote the collection of better ESG data to support good investment and lending decisions and more alignment in reporting requirements between corporates, banks and investors at the international level.
- Encourage carbon-emitting companies to lower their carbon emissions through appropriate transition pathways rather than applying penalising capital charges to banks that will have a knock on impact to these companies and overall ability to transform.
- Encourage the development of climate/environmental risk assessment methodologies that include a forward-looking perspective in addition to existing backward-looking analyses to enable a more accurate calibration of regulatory capital requirements reflecting the long term asset risk profile.
Rick Watson, Managing Director, Capital Markets at AFME said:
“The transition to a more sustainable economy is of vital interest and importance to everyone. Investors, corporations and banks all stand ready to play key roles in achieving this including through harnessing the power of capital markets to make it happen. But in order to do so all participants need to understand more about what is expected of them at this crucial stage. For lenders, this includes clarity around disclosure requirements and the development of risk analysis and management processes which are essential to underpin future incorporation of ESG into the prudential framework. Broader progress towards delivering a comprehensive and coherent sustainable finance programme must be a shared endeavour between the public and private sectors to provide consistent sustainable finance regulations for corporates, banks and investors”.