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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

EU publishes climate disclosure guide

The European Commission has published a new guide to help around 6,000 insurance firms, banks and listed companies report how their activities impact climate change.

EU sustainable finance guidelines ©Shutterstock
New EU guidelines for sustainable finance ©Shutterstock

This is part of the commission’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan, and will apply to firms that have to disclose information under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive.

It is hoped that the guide will help ensure the financial sector plays a critical role shifting the world to a low-carbon economy, and that investments are made at the necessary scale.

European Commission vice-president, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “The climate emergency leaves us with no choice but transit to a climate-neutral economy model.

“Guidelines will help companies disclose the impact of climate change on their business, the impact of their activities on climate, and enable investors to make more informed investment decisions.”

The guidelines integrate recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which has reported growing support this month.

They are also inspired by recent proposals from the EU’s Technical Expert Group (TEG) on sustainable finance, which has since published three complimentary reports.

The first is a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities, which aims to provide practical support for policy makers, industry and investors.

The second expert report recommends clear and comparable criteria for funding via green bonds, helping to determine what activities should be eligible.

And the third report on climate benchmarks sets out the methodology and minimal technical requirements for indices that will enable climate-friendly investment strategies.

Meanwhile, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published a guide to help UK pension funds comply with environmental, social and governance requirements coming into force later this year.

“I welcome the three reports by the TEG, which are an important contribution to European policy-making and global debate on green finance,” Dombrovskis added.

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