Landmark international steps were taken with the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. These commitments and the growing awareness of the urgency to address climate change and environmental degradation, as well as the importance of maintaining the EU's competitiveness, call for a better alignment of the financial system with EU policies supporting sustainability while reducing environmental risks.
The study Defining "green" in the context of green finance, which adelphi and COWI wrote on behalf of the European Commission, presents an overview and analysis of wordwide efforts on defining “green” for green bonds, lending and listed equity. It describes approaches for identifying green assets and activities through conceptual definitions, taxonomies, ratings methodologies and other mechanisms. It suggests policy actions which the European Commission could consider to support the development of “green” definitions, and discusses possible implications of such actions on investments, policy-making and the environment.
The study is based on data collected through literature review, interviews and a survey with stakeholders of the European and international financial community, including asset owners, asset managers and others. Its findings feed into the work of the EU High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.