The European Commission has named representatives from Swiss Re, SCOR and AIG as among the list of members of its Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, which will assist the Commission in developing a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activity.
The Group, which was announced in the Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance in March 2018, comprises 35 members from civil society, academia, and the business and finance sectors, and will begin meeting as of July 2018.
It will also support the Commission in the creation of an EU Green Bond Standard, in the disclosure of climate-related information, and in developing a category of low carbon indices, which can be used by asset and portfolio managers as a benchmark for low-carbon investment strategies.
The commission received 185 eligible applications for Group candidacy, and selected members on the basis of their personal expertise, their contribution to work relevant to sustainable finance, as well as on the prominence of their affiliation in this area.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, stated: “Today’s launch of the Technical Expert Group is another step in our ambitious timetable to lay the foundations for a more sustainable financial system.
“Already as of July, this diverse and highly qualified group of experts will get to work, helping us determine which economic activities are truly green, define an EU standard for green bonds, and more. I am committed to a swift follow-up on their expert advice, in line with our Action Plan on Sustainable Finance and following our legislative proposals last month.”
The Commission will also engage with experts from European Union Member States and the European Parliament regarding the progress of the Technical Expert Group’s work, and will invite several European and international institutions to observe the Group, including the European Supervisory Authorities, the European Central Bank, multilateral development banks, and the European Environment Agency.
Guido Fuerer, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Investment Officer, said: “We look forward to contributing to this crucial dialogue the EU Commission is spearheading. Including sustainable considerations in the investment process makes economic sense.
“There are still various hurdles on the way towards broadly accepted definitions, methodologies, and standards to fully integrate environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG). Close collaboration between the private and public sectors helps overcome such obstacles, and the EU Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth is a great step in that direction.”
Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Swiss Re’s Regional President for EMEA, added: “We are very pleased to be able to support this important project with Swiss Re’s in-depth knowledge, expertise and experience in sustainable finance.
“As a leading global reinsurer we are acutely aware of the significance of sustainable solutions, in finance and elsewhere, in order to safeguard and strengthen our economies and societies now and for future generations.”