January Policy Newsletter

Responsible Investment Policy BriefingJanuary 2019

The PRI’s Responsible Investment Policy Briefing covers global and regulatory developments.

 

In January’s edition:

  • European Commission unveils draft amendments to rules on ESG preferences
  • EU Technical Expert Group releases report on climate-related disclosures
  • European supervisory authorities seek comments on sustainability risk integration
  • Call for feedback on EU classification system for environmentally-sustainable activities
  • New briefing on sustainable finance in Poland
  • German Commission announces plans to phase out coal-fired power stations
  • FCA consultation on climate change and green finance: two days left to comment
  • The PRI responds to the Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance’s interim report
  • US Government shutdown and the shareholder proposal process
  • World Economic Forum’s 2019 global risks report is published
  • The IOSCO publishes its first statement on ESG disclosure

 

 

To provide feedback on our work or suggest new policy areas of focus, please contact us.

European Commission unveils draft amendments to rules on ESG preferences 

The European Commission published draft amendments to the legislations regulating financial advisors – IDD and MiFID II – on the integration of ESG preferences.

Under those rules, investment firms and insurance distributors would have to assess clients’ ESG preferences and take those preferences into account when selecting products, as well as disclose their approach.

EU Technical Expert Group releases report on climate-related disclosures The EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance released its report on climate-related disclosures as an input into the revision of guidance framing non-financial corporate disclosure in the EU. Experts and stakeholders are invited to comment by 1 February.European supervisory authorities seek comments on the integration of sustainability risksThe European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, and the European Securities and Markets Authority, are seeking comments on the integration of sustainability risks into the following rules: insurances under Solvency II and IDD (by 30 Jan); asset managers and financial advisors under MiFID II (by 19 Feb); and alternative investment firms and collective investment schemes under AIFMD and UCITS Directive respectively (by 19 Feb).EU Technical Expert Group requests feedback on EU classification systemThe EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance is calling for feedback on the EU classification system – or taxonomy – for environmentally-sustainable activities. Experts and stakeholders are invited to comment on the first proposed activities by 22 February.New briefing on sustainable finance in Poland is launched 

The PRI and WiseEuropa released a briefing on the state of play and prospects for sustainable finance progress in Poland. The briefing will support further discussions about ongoing EU action on sustainable finance.

 

 Germany plans to phase out coal plants Germany’s Multi-Stakeholder Commission plans to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2038, with the government set to provide €40 billion over the next 20 years to communities where coal mining is a major source of employment. Last chance to comment on climate change and green finance consultationThere are just two days left to comment on the Financial Conduct Authority’s consultation on climate-related disclosures and the development of green financial services.The PRI responds to the Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance’s interim report

Last year, the Canadian Government created an Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance, tasked with building on similar initiatives such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and developing recommendations on the financial and investment structures that will help to facilitate the low-carbon transition.

 

The PRI’s priority recommendations can be found here.

US Government shutdown and shareholder proposal processThe US Government reopened this week after passing a short-term budget for three weeks. During the shutdown there was uncertainty regarding the status of shareholder proposals, as SEC staff were unable to respond to company requests to exclude proposals from their proxies. World Economic Forum’s 2019 global risks report is published Environmental risks dominate the global risks landscape in terms of impact and likelihood for the third year in a row, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2019 global risks report. Information on the significance of the findings to PRI signatories can be found here.The IOSCO publishes statement on issuer ESG disclosureThe International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published its first official statement on issuer ESG disclosure. The PRI welcomes the statement and will continue to work with the IOSCO and its member securities regulators to advance ESG disclosures.