France’s Macron says Article 173 climate reporting rules are example for other countries

Comprehensive support for sustainable finance from French president

French President Emmanuel Macron says his country’s new rules on climate disclosure – the famous Article 173 of the Energy Transition Law for Green Growth – are an example for other countries.

Article 173, he writes, is a “key evolution” which “could set an example for other countries”.

He adds: “It expands the climate reporting of firms to the emissions related to the use of their products and services and introduces a framework for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting by financial institutions.

“I warmly encourage each country to define appropriate and ambitious solutions to ensure the implementation of the TCFD recommendations and improve its climate reporting standards.”

The former Rothschild banker went on to say France, which issued a $7bn sovereign green bond earlier this year, will work to structure the green bond market, both by creating a “clear taxonomy and by defining rigorous processes”. The Paris Financial Center, a term for the French capital’s big finance firms, would play a role here.

He said private players have a leading role in developing disclosure standards, climate scenario analysis or sectoral impact evaluation standards.

Macron also took aim at credit ratings, saying that, to accelerate this process, the “consideration of sustainability criteria or accounting frameworks in credit ratings should be reinforced”.

Macron is organising a climate summit in Paris on December 12 in collaboration with the United Nations and the World Bank. It would highlight “very concrete solutions” to help the financial sector support the energy transition.

The summit will be preceded by an event called Climate Finance Day and the meeting of the International Development Finance Club.Macron’s ESG credentials were signalled before he was elected when he was the only candidate to reply to an open letter from the French SIF (Forum pour L’Investissement Responsable: FIR), asking for their vision on responsible and sustainable finance. He also supported a legal obligation for banks and life assurance companies to offer at least one sustainable and SRI labelled fund option to clients.

“It introduces a framework for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting by financial institutions”

“The world is at a tipping point,” Macron said in his latest article. “All the voices of change and all the energies need to gather in Paris in order to set in order the world of tomorrow.”

He fully supported the work of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and the EU’s High Level Expert Group on sustainable finance. The comments, the culmination of a series of top French officials putting their weight behind sustainable finance, come in a magazine article shared on social media by Finance for Tomorrow.

The body, which is an initiative led by the Paris EUROPLACE hub and the Paris Financial Centre to promote sustainable finance, hailed it as a “passionate” intervention.

Finance for Tomorrow – formerly known as the Paris EUROPLACE Green & Sustainable Finance Initiative – is chaired by Mirova CEO Philippe Zaouati. Its members include institutions as diverse as Amundi, the Banque de France, BNP Paribas, Vigeo Eiris, Caisse des Depots, RAFP and WWF. Observers to the initiative include the Principles for Responsible Investment and the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).