July 2021 newsletter

In this newsletter you can expect:

Insights from Brussels on
EU Sustainable Finance evolutions

Strategy for Financing the Transi-tion to a Sustainable Economy

🇪🇺 The European Commission 
published its new long-awaited “Strategy for Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy” laying out an impressive and comprehen-sive list of actions for 2021-2024 on EU Sustainable Finance.

📌 It aims to tackle some of the most topical issues in this area, and which confirms double materiality as the cornerstone of the EU way.

👆 Much of the actions will require close collaboration with Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to ensure Europe accelerates its transition to meet goals of EU climate law and stem the rapid loss of Biodiversity. 

💥 We hope the Commission will get the necessary support to translate these actions into concrete policy.

👉 Find more information here.

Fit for 55 Package

🚨 The fit for 55 package has been released mid July! This package of laws aims at making critical sectors in the real economy fit for reaching the EU climate goals by 2030 and 2050.

🇪🇺 This is a significant EU policy step to send market signals and to shows investors where and how they can contribute to reach the EU environmental and climate targets by funding sustainable projects.

👉 Find more information here

Letter on Fit for 55% Package

🤝 YES! We agree with all the points written in this open letter to the European Commission that is calling on the EU for effective and coherent “Fit for 55% package” that delivers EU leadership on climate and the netzero transition.

📃 We made similar points in our letter to the Commission about policy coherence, clear market signals, etc.
👉 Read the full article here.

SFDR & Taxonomy

♻️ The SFDR technical standards on Principal Adverse Impact Indicators & disclosures will now be packaged together with the EU Taxo-nomy alignment technical standards and probably fully enter into force only in July 2022.

The new EU Sustainable Finance Strategy this month also had several 'SFDR' actions:

🌀 Minimum sustainability standards for Article 8 SFDR

🌀 A revision of the S, G and Climate PAII indicators in SFDR before December 2022

🌀 Strengthening of decarbonisation efforts by financial products, based on SFDR standards

🗓 2021 and 2022 will be busy  SFDR years!

👉 Read the full article by Responsible Investor here

Expanding the Eurosif team!

📣 We are delighted to welcome our two new colleagues at Eurosif!

We are very excited that Federica Casarsa and Hugo Gallagher are joining our team in Brussels. You will be hearing from them soon!

The Q&A of SFDR

🚨 The long-awaited Q&A of SFDR has just been published.
🇪🇺 Eurosif welcomes the clarifications to the SFDR’s scope of application contained in the Q&A. 

👆 However, uncertainty persists on the classification of Article 6, 8 & 9 products – arguably the more urgent issue. 

👆 More detail will be needed in the Level 1 text of SFDR before Article 8 & 9 may be regarded as meaningful product categories, and to ensure that SFDR delivers on the objectives of transparency, comparability and integrity. 

👆 Accordingly, we look forward to the European Commission’s actions under the Renewed Strategy to specify minimum sustainability 
criteria for Article 8 products as a compliment to today’s SFDR Q&A.

👉 Find more information here.

Consultations by SF Platform

🌱 The Sustainable Finance Platform has published two consultations: the draft reports on a Social Taxonomy & on an Extended Environmental Taxonomy to support economic transition.

🗓 The deadline of the consultation is 27th of August

👉 Find the consultation on Social Taxonomy here.

👉 Find the consultation on Taxonomy extension options linked to environmental objectives here.

Climate Awards Deadline

🚨 The application deadline of the International Climate Reporting Awards is approaching! 🔜 31.07.21 at midnight.

🎖 Organised by ADEME, the Ministère de l'Environnement and 2° Investing Initiative, the Climate Awards will reward the best climate reporting on the basis of the most advanced criteria on the market.

👉 Find out more & apply here.

EFRAG public Consultation

🇪🇺 ​EFRAG Secretariat seeks comments from stakeholders on its Public Consultation Paper: EFRAG Due Process Procedures on EU Sustainability Reporting Standard-

🗓 Comments are welcome by 15 September 2021. ​

👉 Find more information here.




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Eurosif in the Press in July

Updates from our SIF members
across Europe

The Bank of Italy presented on July, 5 its Responsible Investment Charter. The document is part of an ESG criteria integration path started by the Bank some years ago.

The Charter illustrates how the Bank intends to integrate sustainability assessments with financial ones with respect to those financial assets managed under the Bank's own responsibility (namely, financial portfolio and foreign exchange reserves investments).

According to the document, the Bank of Italy will give priority in its investment choice to firms that:

  1. Focus on the responsible use of natural resources and their impact on ecosystems 
  2. Maintain adequate conditions regarding safety, health, justice, equality and inclusion; and
  3. Generate income and employment in compliance with sustainability principles.

The Bank will also apply some exclusion criteria, for instance regarding Tobacco producers as well as companies that do not respect fundamental rights and international treaties on weapons.

The Bank of Italy also commits to foster greater awareness of ESG issues in the financial community with the goal of stimulating firms to adopt forms of management that are mindful of the environment, society and the best corporate governance practices.

The Bank’s sustainable investment policy refers to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on climate change and to the recommendations of the Network for Greening the Financial System.

The work of the UK’s Green Technical Advisory Group (GTAG), overseeing the Government’s delivery of a ‘green taxonomy’, has recently begun and UKSIF will look to continue to reflect the views of our members at the Group.

We will be considering forming an informal working group to feed in members’ expertise and potentially hosting a series of roundtable discussions with members, as GTAG’s various work-streams progress including on usability for investors and corporates and alignment with international taxonomies.

The GTAG will provide initial advice to Treasury on the green taxonomy by September this year, with the UK framework finalised by the end of 2023. 
Over the summer period in August, we expect a relatively quieter period for UKSIF and our members before resuming our usual activity in September. We will be hosting the Government’s Net-Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith MP, for a private webinar with our members on 15 September, and organising a briefing in Parliament alongside IIGCC on the role of investor stewardship.

The briefing will be chaired by Conservative MP Gareth Davies, and seek to combat misconceptions among parliamentarians on the sector’s stewardship activity and highlight the positive part it can play in the UK’s net-zero transition.

On July 16th, the SRI virtual event “Sustainable sovereign debt”, took place organized by Spainsif, the Spanish Forum of Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

The integration of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria in investment in corporate bonds has been a more common practice in corporate bonds than in sovereign bonds.

Participants from ICO, CCOO, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Pictet Asset Management, Aegon Asset Management and MSCI, highlighted topics such as:

  • A growing investors demand for higher quality in the sustainability information to the markets, not only to the companies but also from countries.
  • How social and governance issues of countries have a greater influence on sovereign debt than environmental issues, gap that must be closed.
  • The importance on differentiating what it means to integrate ESG criteria and sustainable thematic strategies into portfolios.
  • A New Area of ​​Interest Regarding ESG Criteria in Sovereign Bonds: macro climate stress test.
  • Or how the development of human capital is key to the economic development of an emerging economy, as well as the importance of the rule of law, the democratic quality of institutions and the stability of governments for these regions.

All the speakers agreed that the promotion of the sovereign bonds contributes to countries economic stability and to address global challenges such as climate change, the ecologic transition or the fight against inequalities.

To celebrate "20 years Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen e.V." we host an event on 22 September at frizzforum Berlin, prior to our general meeting on 23 September.

Since its foundation in January 2001, the FNG has successfully been working to improve the legal and political framework for sustainable investments. With a keynote, impulses and discussions we look back at 20 years of commitment to transparency, quality and growth of sustainable investments.
On another note:
In a press release from 31 March, FNG took a clear stand to exclude nuclear power from sustainable activities in the EU Taxonomy – based on the dangers of nuclear technology and no effective waste disposal solution.

As a reaction to ongoing consultations, FNG initiated an open letter. You can find the current version with supporters here. If you’re interested in signing the open letter, please reach out to Anika Leufen by 6 August. Let’s send a strong signal together!

Save the date: Sustainable Finance Week in France
The 12th edition of the Sustainable Finance Week will take place from September 30th to October 8th. The 2020 edition was disturbed by the health crisis with few events but the distribution networks and the various players were well mobilized. French SIF will organize various events including the traditional presentation of the annual survey on French individual investors and sustainable finance.  Check them here
Translation of the implementing decree of Article 29 of the Energy-Climate Law on non-financial reporting by market players
Article 29 takes over from Article 173-VI which at the time marked an important step forward for responsible investment in France. Discover all explanations from DG Trésor here.

We organized a webinar at the beginning of July to decipher the implementing decree and make a legal analysis of it. Watch the replay [in French].

During the summer months, SSF has been preparing new projects and events for the second half of 2021.

A particularly exciting upcoming initiative is our event series on the topic of sustainable finance technology, which we are organising together with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Find out more about the first conference on “Novel Data Solutions”, taking place on 6 October 2021, here.
To support our members and partners in keeping up with the fast-paced developments in the field of sustainable finance, SSF offers multiple resources on its website, including a Digital Library on Sustainable Finance.

Our Digital Library on Sustainable Finance is a continuously growing online database with currently over 500 reports on sustainable finance and related topics; Market studies, scientific articles, books, guidelines, etc. can be found in up to four languages (EN, DE, FR, IT) and interested readers can filter by topic. We hope you enjoy the collection of publications!

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