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 10 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 as of December 2020, 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 10 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
- 10 invited observers from international and European organisations
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 early 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 Q2 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 (RWTH Aachen University) 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 by end 2021
- Subgroup 2 will be set up in the first 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 Q2 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 Q2 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
- 14 members and 6 observers
- The rapporteur is Helena Vines Fiestas (BNP Paribas)
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 first 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 will have a first opportunity to engage with the Platform on Sustainable Finance throughout the series of five online webinars organised on 24 and 26 February 2021. Interested stakeholders will be 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.
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 early 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.
- 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