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Sustainable finance and benchmarks: Low-carbon benchmarks and positive-carbon-impact benchmarks [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Stefano Spinaci (1st edition),

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© Cherries / Fotolia

In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of measures on the financing of sustainable growth. The package includes three proposals aimed at establishing an EU taxonomy on sustainable economic activities, improving disclosure requirements and creating a new category of benchmarks to help investors measure the carbon footprint of their investments.

Financial benchmarks have an important impact on investment flows. Many investors rely on them for creating investment products, measuring their performance and devising asset allocation strategies. The Commission proposes to create a new category of benchmarks comprising low-carbon and positive-carbon-impact benchmarks, by amending the Benchmark Regulation.

As the regulation is directly applicable, amending it would restrict the possibility of divergent measures being taken by the competent authorities at national level. Parliament voted in plenary on 26 March 2019 to approve the compromise text agreed in trilogue negotiations. However, due to the tight timeline for finalisation before the end of the parliamentary term, the Council has not yet adopted the text at first reading as Parliament will first have to approve, through a corrigendum procedure, the final revised text.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 on low carbon benchmarks and positive carbon impact benchmarks
Committee responsible: Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) COM(2018) 355, 24.5.2018.
Rapporteur: Neena Gill (S&D, United Kingdom) 2018/0180(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs: Anne Sander (EPP, France)
Kay Swinburne (ECR, United Kingdom)
Lieve Wierinck (ALDE, Belgium)
Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL, Ireland)
Molly Scott Cato (Greens/EFA, UK)
Barbara Kappel (ENF, Austria)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Approval of corrigendum by Parliament and final adoption by Council

Stage: Voted in plenary


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