By Hugh Wheelan, Managing Editor, Responsible Investor
Responsible Investor (RI), the daily news and features site for ESG and sustainable finance, is holding its 12th annual RI Europe conference in London on 11th-12th June 2019. The conference brings together 700+ top-level investment professionals to learn, share and debate the opportunities and challenges from major regulatory and business shifts at an event renowned for high quality content, networking and conviviality. Asset owners and investment consultants attend for free.
You can see the conference agenda and further information here.
This year, the event is focused on the EU’s Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth, the biggest public intervention the financial markets have ever seen when it comes to ESG and responsible investment. It will have huge operational and strategic ramifications for institutional investors in Europe and beyond.
Timing is everything, and the conference starts just as Action Plan is crystallising into legislation in June.
The Action Plan seeks to integrate sustainability requirements into rafts of mainstream financial regulation (MiFID, Capital Requirements Regulation and IORP, among others) and introduce new rules and guidance to help stimulate green and social investment.
The RI Europe 2019 conference will hear from some of the biggest experts in the investment field that have been involved in the evolution of the Action Plan.
It is an ambitious agenda to “reengineer financial markets”, overhaul existing regulation and create new tools to mainstream ESG.
The spotlight has been on the Commission’s flagship project, the green taxonomy, to help companies, investors and others understand ‘what is green’. But their proposals are much broader than that. As well as green bond standards and green labels for funds (which will be based on the taxonomy), there is an agreement on benchmarks, which covers both the creation of new, dedicated products, and enhanced ESG disclosure on existing indices. Controversial plans to introduce a Green Supporting Factor, in which banks’ capital requirements are altered to encourage lending to green assets, have fallen off the agenda for now, but may be put back on the table once definitions of ‘green’ are established under the taxonomy.
The Commission has put most emphasis on areas that provide scope for product development, and the remit has been whittled down to climate change, mainly, rather than ‘sustainability’ more broadly. The taxonomy, the creation of low-carbon indices and the development of green labels and standards, are clear examples of this.
But there has also been a slew of regulatory developments around corporate and investor disclosure on sustainability, proposed updates to suitability tests, and a number of requests levelled at the European Supervisory Authorities (the ESAs) – including one to address “undue short-term pressure from the financial sector on corporations”.
The first legislative proposals have made it through political negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union.
RI has led coverage of the Action Plan, looking at how far it has come and what the next steps will be. We have freed up part of our archive of EU Action Plan stories from behind the pay-wall for a limited period of time to encourage knowledge sharing across organisations of the back-story and implications of the EU’s landmark regulatory initiatives.
You can access the free articles here.
We hope you enjoy the coverage and that we’ll see you at the RI Europe 2019 conference in London on June 11/12.
You can sign up for a free, 30-day trial to Responsible Investor here.
Responsible Investor’s 12th annual RI Europe conference in London returns on 11th-12th June 2019.
Date: 11th-12th June 2019
Location: etc.Venues 133 Houndsditch, in London
With 2019 set to be a pivotal year for the industry especially given the developments in the European Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance. Investors, companies, service providers, and government representatives alike are looking to better understand the action they need to take within their own operations.
Register for RI Europe 2019 now to learn, share, debate and network with 700+ investment professionals who are serious about responsible investment and sustainable finance.
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