Dutch Banking Association priorities on the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy of the European Commission

In December 2019, the European Commission adopted the European Green Deal - an ambitious roadmap of various policy initiatives to make the European economy sustainable and to reach the target of a climate-neutral Europe in 2050. As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission (EC) has announced to publish its Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy in the autumn of 2020. The strategy will contain initiatives to steer financial and capital flows towards green investments and to prevent stranded assets. To collect the opinions from stakeholders on the strategy, the European Commission launched a public consultation. The consultation contains many important topics for the Dutch banking sector, such as the management of climate risks, the creation of a green label for investments funds and a European framework for due diligence in supply chains of businesses.

Nederlands

The Dutch Banking Association has developed three main priorities with respect to the upcoming Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy. We are asking the EC for consistent EU policy by aligning the various initiatives related to sustainable finance, through clear definitions and reporting requirements. Furthermore, we ask the Commission for the development of clear transition paths to support banks in guiding their clients in the green transition. Finally, one of the main challenges for banks is data adequacy. We are asking the EC to improve the availability and comparability of climate-related risk data. This is important for a better integration of climate and environmental risks into the financial system. We would therefore favour the facilitation of a common collection point of all relevant data by the EC.

The Dutch Banking Association has also contributed to a consultation reaction by the European Banking Federation (EBF), which represents the European banking industry.

The new EU strategy will build upon the Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth which was adopted in 2018. This Action Plan laid down the foundations for channelling private capital towards sustainable investments. As part of a legislative package under the action plan, the EU has, among other things, developed a uniform European classification system for sustainable activities (the “Taxonomy”), EU norms and labels for sustainable financial products, low-carbon benchmarks and new reporting requirements for institutional investors and asset managers.