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EU’s High Level Expert Group report on sustainable finance published
31 January 2018 ICMA, which was represented on the HLEG group, comments on the report:

“We have been pleased to contribute to the European Commission’s HLEG on Sustainable Finance from the outset, and see the final report released today as a real step forward in creating a framework for the financing of a sustainable European economy.

We believe that many of the recommendations in this report will be taken into the European Commission’s Action Plan on sustainable finance, contributing also to the critical Capital Markets Union Initiative. In particular, the proposal for an EU classification system, or taxonomy, would provide additional clarity and detail for issuers and investors in the green bond market where ICMA supports the Green Bond Principles.

We note also key recommendations such as for a European green bond standard, complementary to the market developed Green Bond Principles, and for the clarification of investor duties to extend the time horizons of investment and bring greater focus on ESG factors into investment decisions. As the report itself underlines, the challenge will be to find the right balance in implementation and ‘to not increase the regulatory burden and complexity given the ultimate purpose is to facilitate more investment’.
We look forward to the opportunity of contributing to the European Commission’s Action Plan on sustainable finance, and to continuing our work in the green, social and sustainability bond markets with the Green Bond Principles.”

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