The European Commission on March 22 hosted a high-level conference on its strategy to reform the financial system in support of the EU’s climate and sustainable development agenda.
According to the Commission, this event is an opportunity to maintain the momentum established at the One Planet Summit, cementing the support and commitment of EU leaders and key private players for the changes needed in the financial system and the economy. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis jointly host the event in Brussels.
“Europe is open for sustainable business. But climate change knows no boundaries and will affect us all,” Juncker said. “We cannot work alone. This is why we want to lead international efforts and will work with our G7, G20 and United Nations partners to set global sustainable finance standards […] Two decades ago, sustainability was a specialist topic for experts and scientists. Today, it is a daily reality and a priority for governments, for financial institutions, for business and for citizens […]. At its heart it is about making sure that our money works for our planet as well as our bottom line. There is no greater return on investment,” the European Commission added.
Participants discussed how best to put the Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance into practice. The Action Plan, launched on March 8, is part of the Capital Markets Union’s (CMU) efforts to connect finance with the specific needs of the European economy to the benefit of the planet and our society. It is also one of the key steps towards implementing the historic Paris Agreement and the EU implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.