Allianz, BNP Paribas, PGGM and SEB are among the few financial institutions and investors to be represented in the new group that will help steer sustainable finance rules in the EU over coming years.
The much-anticipated Platform on Sustainable Finance has 50 members and nine observers and will replace the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, which has advised the Commission on its taxonomy, as well as new rules for disclosures, low-carbon indices and a potential EU Green Bond Standard.
A handful of TEG members will be moved over to the new Platform, which will retain Nathan Fabian, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, as its chair. Brenda Kramer, Senior Responsible Investment Advisor at Dutch pension fund PGGM will represent asset owners, for example, while Sean Kidney will continue to represent the Climate Bonds Initiative. Helena Vines Fiestas, Global Head of Stewardship and Policy at BNP Paribas, will move from TEG to the new platform, along with academic Andreas Hoepner, who worked on the low-carbon benchmarks initiative on the TEG.
Swedish bank SEB will retain a place in the group, this time via Karl-Oska Olming, the bank’s Head of Sustainability Strategy, Policy and Governance (Marie Baumgarts, SEB’s Head of Sustainability Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability Office, was on the TEG). Insurance giant Allianz will remain represented, too.
Antje Schneeweiß has also been appointed to the platform. She is a managing director at German church investment group Arbeitskreis Kirchliche Investoren, member of the investment committee at ethical bank GLS and of the German Federal Government's Sustainable Finance Advisory Board.
But of the 60 members and observers, far fewer belong to the private sector than some had anticipated. Officially, just three banks and financial institutions are represented on the list, and five corporates – E.ON, Airbus, Iberdrola and Bloomberg.
Much of the Platform has been given over to NGOs, academics and think-tanks – 16 in total – covering an array of areas from water, conservation and wildlife to transport, buildings and human rights. Trade unions are also represented.
WWF’s head of EU policy, Sebastien Godinot, will join the platform, as well as experts at Finance Watch, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Global Reporting Initiative.
Trade bodies also take up a large proportion of Platform membership, with 12 members, including the International Capital Markets Association, Business Europe and the Green & Sustainable Finance Cluster for Germany. The construction, chemicals, dredging, recycling, technology and steel industries are also represented through their trade bodies.
An expert from the Bank of International Settlements is also in the group.
In addition to the 50 experts announced today, the Platform will also include representatives from seven EU bodies: the European Environment Agency, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the European Agency for Fundamental Rights, the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Banking Authority, and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority.
In the call for applications, issued by the European Commission in June, it said the new group will continue to guide the taxonomy – both in terms of the environmental technical screening criteria, and on how it could expand to cover “other sustainability objectives, including social objectives and activities that significantly harm the environment” – but will also “monitor and report on capital flows towards sustainable investments” and “advise the Commission on sustainable finance policy more broadly”.