Classifying sustainable finance

Sustainable finance is based on investments that take into account environmental, social and governance considerations. That includes finance to address greenhouse gas emissions and tackle pollution, as well as minimising waste and improving efficiency in the use of natural resources.

The EIB is coordinating a group of Multilateral Development Banks to develop “Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking”, which will incorporate the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Bank also took on a similar key role in 2017 as part of its involvement with the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, which was established in December 2016. The group’s aim is to make recommendations for a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance. In its interim report, published in July 2017, the Expert Group suggested the EIB should coordinate the creation of a classification for climate finance, starting with climate change mitigation. After consultations with key stakeholders, the EIB developed a proposal for a draft taxonomy for climate mitigation, contributing to the ongoing work of the Expert Group. In its final report in January 2018, the Expert Group recommended that the European Commission adopt a 2018-19 roadmap for a full sustainability taxonomy. This would build on the EIB’s work on climate change mitigation as a first step, followed by climate adaptation and other environmental and social elements. It is an essential step in establishing clarity to stimulate the market for sustainable financial products and to enhance support for public policies.