PRIME TALK: Sustainable Finance: ‘Moving the Trillions?

Published in 
The EGG, Rue Bara 175, 1070 Bruxelles

Environmental externalities are not fully incorporated into asset prices at present. But investors (from households to asset managers, insurers or pension funds) can provide powerful incentives to integrate environmental sustainability into business operations. A plethora of instruments is currently discussed under the European Commission Action Plan such as taxonomy, disclosure requirements for investors, low-carbon benchmarks, non-financial corporate reporting, credit and sustainability ratings, green bonds standards, eco-labels for retail financial products. Will they be able to ‘move the trillions’ of investable funds?


    • Gunnela Hahn, Senior Expert Sustainable Investment, Church of Sweden
    • Matt Orsagh, Senior Director, Capital Markets Policy, CFA Institute
    • Olav Aamlid Syversen, Vice President Political and Public Affairs, Equinor
    • Martin Spolc, Head of Sustainable Finance, DG FISMA, European Commission

    Moderator: Åke Iverfeldt, Former CEO, MISTRA Foundation

    Key takeaways

    • Adequate (ESG) analysis and research, with a focus on materiality, is a prerequisite to sustainable investment. But since stakeholders cannot wait for ‘perfect’ data, concrete actions are needed now to finance the transition of our economies and meet climate and energy targets. 
    • Deploying private capital to scalable projects is essential as investors continue to look for better risk-adjusted returns in the equity and bonds space. Corporates need to demonstrate a clear pathway in terms of capital/operational expenditures, revenue generation and low carbon solutions for end-consumers.
    • The Commission’s Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy will materialise in September 2020, following comprehensive consultation on what should be done, by whom and at what pace. Three pillars will be targeted: the overall financial ecosystem, the impact of the toolbox and risk assessment/management.

    Participation in this lab session is by invitation only.  More detailed information is available here.

    Please do not hesitate to contact Beatriz Pozo by email at: beatriz.pozo@ceps.eu  or by phone on: +32 (0)2 229 39 87.