European Commission decides to set up new High Level Expert Group on sustainable finance and calls for members

The European Commission has formally decided to establish a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance and has, as a first step, launched a call for the expression of interest for members of this group. The decision builds on the Commission’s goal to develop an overarching and comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union. The Commission committed to moving ahead on this issue in the Communication on accelerating implementation of the Capital Markets Union (CMU). Sustainable investment is broadly understood as encompassing environmental, social and governance considerations in the investment process. Capital markets and private sources will play an essential role in mobilising investment in sustainable technologies, applications and infrastructure, and in helping the European Union meet its climate and environment objectives. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “The European Union is pushing for a global transition towards a more sustainable economy. The work we are doing on sustainable finance within the Capital Markets Union is part of this. We’ve made a start by supporting market initiatives such as green bonds. We’re looking at ways to encourage institutional investors to have more sustainable investment policies. We want to see what more can be done to support the transition to a low-carbon economy in the financial sector. Our Expert Group will help shape this crucial policy agenda.”  The HLEG will be composed of up to 20 senior experts coming from civil society, the business community and other non-public sector institutions. Interested individuals are invited to submit their application by 25 November 2016. The selection of the group’s members will be carried out next month and the HLEG will start its work in January 2017.