Dialogue and close cooperation among a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sector will be crucial to deliver on the aims of the EU Taxonomy Regulation and ultimately of the European Green Deal and the EU climate targets for 2030 and 2050.
The Platform on Sustainable Finance plays a key role in enabling such cooperation by bringing together the best expertise on sustainability from the corporate and public sector, from industry as well as academia, civil society and the financial industry join forces.
As a permanent expert group of the European Commission that has been established under Article 20 of the Taxonomy Regulation, the Platform will assist the Commission in developing its sustainable finance policies, notably the further development of the EU taxonomy.
In the following video you can watch an interview between Martin Špolc – Head of Unit Sustainable finance, Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) – and Nathan Fabian – Chair of the Platform on sustainable finance.
The first inaugural meeting of the Platform was held on 15 and 16 October 2020.
Commissioner McGuinness and Commissioner Sinkevičius addressed the new members and observers of the Platform and expressed their strong support for the Platform’s mandate. The Commissioners noted that the Platform will advise the Commission at a crucial time when we need to further increase our ambition to achieve our objectives of the European Green Deal as well as realising a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
What the platform does
The platform is an advisory body subject to the Commission’s horizontal rules for expert groups. Its main purpose is to advise the European Commission on several tasks and topics related to further developing the EU taxonomy and support the Commission in the technical preparation of delegated acts, in order to implement the EU taxonomy.
Based on the mandate of the Platform in Article 20 Taxonomy Regulation, the members and observers started work on four main tasks to deliver key deliverables
- Advise the Commission on the technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy, including on the usability of the criteria
- Advise the Commission on the review of the Taxonomy Regulation and on covering other sustainability objectives, including social objectives and activities that significantly harm the environment
- Monitor and report on capital flows towards sustainable investments
- Advise the Commission on sustainable finance policy more broadly
How the Platform is organised
The Platform has, in principle, an unlimited duration, taking into account the different tasks provided for in the Taxonomy Regulation and the need to amend the technical screening criteria of the EU taxonomy over time, in order to reflect, for instance, changing EU environmental legislation or technological developments.
It operates through a plenary in full composition of all 57 members and 11 observers, supported by subgroups where the technical work on its opinions, reports or recommendations takes place. The plenary serves as a forum to ensure that appropriate linkages are created between the relevant subgroups and to formally endorse advice and reports of the Platform.
The Platform is chaired by a Chairperson. The Commission has decided to appoint Mr Nathan Fabian, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, from Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), as Chairperson of the Platform.
For an overview of the organisational set-up of the Platform, see the organigramme below. You can click on the organigramme to download it.
Who is in the platform: Members and observers
A broad and balanced representation of stakeholders, expertise and perspectives allows the Platform to develop its advice based on scientific evidence, expertise and deep practical experience and to recommend technical screening criteria for an EU taxonomy that is usable and in line with the ambition of the European Green Deal.
The Platform brings together world leading sustainability experts across all stakeholder groups: Private stakeholders from financial, non-financial and business sectors, NGOs and civil society, academia and think tanks, experts in personal capacity, as well as public and international institutions.
In total, the Platform can draw on the expertise of 57 members and 11 observers
- 50 members selected from more than 500 highly-qualified applications after a public call for applications on the basis of their environmental, sustainable finance and, where relevant, social/human rights expertise, also aiming at a geographical, gender, cross-sectoral, type of organisation and other balance in the Platform's membership
- 7 members of public entities directly appointed through Article 20 Taxonomy Regulation - European Environment Agency, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the three European Supervisory Agencies and the European Agency for Fundamental Rights
- 11 invited observers
The 50 selected members of the Platform have a mandate limited to two years. After the two years, the Commission will have the possibility to extend the mandate or to appoint new members.
Technical work: Subgroups
Six subgroups are currently envisaged to prepare the technical work based on the variety of tasks and sub-tasks, the deadlines indicated by the mandate, and the different types of skills and expertise needed. Out of the six subgroups, two will start its work in 2021.
Click on the subgroup's names below to view their tasks, deliverables and composition.
- Advise the Commission on the technical screening criteria on environmental objectives in line with Article 19
- Advise on the possible need to update those criteria
- Analyse the impact of the technical screening criteria in terms of potential costs and benefits
- Assist the Commission in analysing requests from stakeholders to develop or revise technical screening criteria for a given economic activity (request system will be set up in mid-2021)
- In a first instance, the subgroup will be focusing on developing technical screening criteria for environmental objectives 3-6 for which a report is due in Q3 2021
- Report on updating criteria for all six environmental objectives by Q3 2022
- 32 members and 3 observers
- The work on technical screening criteria is divided into sector teams
- The rapporteur is Marzia Traverso (Type A) and co-rapporteur is Ben Allen (IEEP)
In the following video you can watch an interview between Nathan Fabian – Chair of the Platform on sustainable finance and the rapporteurs of the Technical Working Group, Marzia Traverso and Ben Allen.
- Advise the Commission on the possible need to amend the Taxonomy Regulation
- The work of this subgroup will build on the output by subgroups 3 and 4
- Report on the review of the Taxonomy Regulation in late 2021/early 2022
- Subgroup 2 will be set up in the second half of 2021
- Advise the Commission on the development of the taxonomy with regard to economic activities that do not have a significant impact on environmental sustainability and economic activities that significantly harm environmental sustainability
- Report by Q3 2021
- 9 members and 3 observers
- The rapporteur is Nancy Saich (European Investment Bank)
- Advise the Commission on extending the taxonomy to social objectives and compliance with minimum social safeguards
- Report on social objectives by Q3 2021
- Report on compliance with minimum social safeguards by Q4 2021
- 8 members and 2 observers
- The rapporteur is Antje Schneeweis (Arbeitskreis kirchlicher Investoren)
- Advise on data quality, availability, and market preparedness for their obligations
- Advise on the possible role of sustainability accounting and reporting standards
- Advise on usability of the criteria
- Advise on the evaluation and development of sustainable finance policy issues
- Provide feedback and advice on usability of technical screening criteria to other subgroups
- 13 members and 6 observers
- The co-rapporteurs are Nadia Humphreys (Bloomberg) and Helena Vines Fiestas (Type A)
Tasks and deliverables
- Monitoring and regularly reporting to the Commission on trends regarding capital flows towards sustainable investments
- As this subgroup‘s work will need to be based on available data, this subgroup will take up its work in the second half of 2021
Involvement of the public: External outreach and feedback
In selecting the members, the Commission aimed to strike a balance in choosing experts with different skill sets and from a wide range of sectors including civil society, industry and academia. Due to a limited maximum number of platform members, it was not possible to ensure that every sector and interest group could be directly represented in all its variety.
The Commission, together with the Platform, will therefore reach out to a wide range of external stakeholders through calls for feedback, educational webinars and targeted outreach sessions to inform and discuss preliminary findings and concepts and to receive feedback from all interested stakeholders.
Stakeholders had a first opportunity to engage with the Platform on Sustainable Finance throughout the series of 5 online webinars organised 24 and 26 February 2021. Interested stakeholders were able to engage on the approaches and key concepts developed by the Platform on Sustainable Finance so far and get an insight in the working process of the Platform.
- 24 & 26 February 2021
Stakeholders will have another opportunity to engage with the Platform and hear about its work through a series of 6 webinars that will run from 21 June to 19 July.
- 12 & 13 July 2021
The Platform will hold webinars to present draft ideas on ‘social’ taxonomy and ideas on potential ‘significantly harmful & no significant impact’ taxonomy.
- 21 June - 13 July 2021
Other 4 webinars will focus on usability aspects of the taxonomy.
File activities to be analysed by the Platform
The Platform is also tasked with assisting the Commission in analysing requests from stakeholders to develop or revise technical screening criteria for a given economic activity. In mid-2021, the Platform will outline how it intends to receive and process such requests. It will then be possible to formally submit requests through a dedicated process on this website.
Platform publications and news
Below you will find the latest reports, opinions and recommendations of the Platform on Sustainable Finance.
- End of July 2021
The Platform will release the draft taxonomy technical screening criteria for the remaining four environmental objectives.
Together with the draft report the Platform will launch a public consultation on its content which will run until mid-September. More details around engagement opportunities will be shared shortly.
The final recommendations by the Platform are expected in autumn 2021.
- 12 July 2021
The Platform published two draft reports on social taxonomy and on an extended taxonomy to support economic transition.
The two drafts constitute an important step towards fulfilling one of the Platform’s main deliverables, which is to advise the Commission on a potential social and extended environmental taxonomy.
Both draft reports are advisory and the Commission has not taken a decision yet on whether to proceed in either area.
The Platform will invite stakeholder feedback on both drafts through two public consultations, which will run from 12 July to 27 August 2021.
After considering the stakeholder input, the Platform will submit final reports with their advice to the Commission in autumn 2021. The Platform’s advice will feed into the Commission’s report on a potential extension of the taxonomy framework to be adopted by the end of 2021, as set out under Article 26 (2a and 2b) of the Taxonomy Regulation. The Commission will analyse and consider these reports in light of the continuing development of the EU taxonomy, as laid out in the new sustainable finance strategy.
- 21 April 2021
- March 2021
- January 2021
- 18 December 2020
- For further information on the governance of the Platform as well plenary meeting agendas and minutes, please consult the Platform’s space in the public register of Commission expert groups.
- Press release on the creation of the platform - 18 June 2020
- Call for applications for the selection of members of the platform - 18 June 2020
- Press release on the announcement of the members of the platform - 1 October 2020
- Frequently asked questions on the platform - 1 October 2020