Over 20 NGOs call on the EU to prioritise sustainable finance

A group of over 20 NGOs, led by Banktrack and ShareAction has published a manifesto calling on EU policymakers to make sustainable finance a top priority for the 2024-2029 agenda.

The move, which takes place via the European Responsible Investment Network (ERIN), has published a manifesto for EU policymakers which calls for clear criteria and a more stringent approach towards ending green and social washing.

In addition, the NGOs have set out recommendations on policies in areas including expanding the taxonomy framework to accelerate investments in the zero carbon economy.

The manifesto also calls on legislation to encourage investors to consider the risks of harmful investments in fossil fuels, to help avoid governments bearing the brunt as the economy transitions.

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The NGOs, which work on finance, human rights and the environment, are warning that a failure to legislate with sufficiently ambitious policy, risks creating instability.

It comes as a recent Eurobarometer poll showed that more than three quarters (77%) of EU citizens think climate change is a very serious problem.

“Although European Union institutions and governments have introduced some sustainable finance regulations in recent years, it falls short of what is needed to support businesses to transition to a sustainable economy and protect people and planet,” said ShareAction EU Head of Policy Maria van der Heide.

“We need to see bold action from EU policymakers to ensure the financial sector powers solutions, not problems,” she added.

“People across Europe expect policymakers to ensure a safe future for them and their families. The incoming European Commission should put ambitious sustainable finance measures at the heart of its agenda, to accelerate the transition to a resilient zero-carbon economy so protects the whole of society”.

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