Valdis Dombrovskis is the candidate for the post of future Executive Vice-President of the Commission for “An economy that works for people”. In today’s hearing before the European Parliament, Dombrovskis committed to deliver a new action plan for a sustainable financial sector. The action plan for sustainable financial markets is Dombrovskis’ response to a Green request. The EU Commission’s first action plan for sustainable financial markets in the last legislative period was the result of a Green initiative, too.
In response to a question by Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA), Dombrovskis confirmed that he wanted to initiate concrete measures for uniform transparency rules with regard to the environmental and climate-change related risks of companies. The Commission intends to revise corporate reporting on non-financial factors and, in particular, to improve information on sustainability risks. The already existing information obligations of financial sector companies on climate and environmental risks are said to be harmonised. In addition, the Commission Vice-President confirms the commitment to a transparent EU standard for green bonds and a consumer label for sustainable financial products. The classification of sustainable investments is to be extended in the long term from climate protection to broader environmental and social aspects. Following today’s hearing by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), the Committee on Employment (EMPL) and the Committee on Budgets (BUDG), Dombrovskis has a good chance of becoming part of the new EU Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“Dombrovskis is the right person for the job. He has recognised that the financial markets must contribute to the fight against the climate crisis. To save the climate, we need more sustainability in the financial markets. Dombrovskis will make financial markets more resistant to climate and environmental risks. His commitment to a new action plan for greener financial markets is an important step and a great success of green financial policy. Dombrovskis’ action plan creates more transparency on sustainability on European financial markets. Uniform transparency rules for all financial actors allow investors to correctly assess environmental risks and prevent abrupt losses in value. We will make sure that new obligations will be less bureaucratic for small financial players than for large ones. A transparent EU standard for green bonds and a consumer label for green financial products will help channel investment into a sustainable economy. We will push for the necessary transparency of green bonds to prevent greenwashing. Strong transparency on sustainability gives positive impulses for green projects and ensures the exit from environmentally harmful industries. The rules for sustainable financial markets must not only regulate the green niche, but should apply equally to all important financial players. If this succeeds, the financial markets will become much more stable and sustainable.”