ETUC calls on the EU to be more responsible in developing a sustainable finance framework

With the publication of final reports including the Report on Minimum Safeguards, the Platform on Sustainable Finance of the EU is shutting down. The ETUC appreciates the committed and open-minded participation of different stakeholders and the constructive and engaged work of the Chairs.

The ETUC wants to stress two major achievements. First, the Platform clearly stated the need to extend the EU taxonomy to social aspects, including the elaboration of a social taxonomy. Then, the Report on Minimum Safeguards for Green Investments, launched yesterday, sets a way forward, even if issues remain open on the adequacy of the overall framework and its credibility without stronger public supervision and monitoring of companies' own reporting.

However, the Platform ends without having accomplished all its tasks. The decision of the European Commission to drop the social taxonomy and dilute the green taxonomy, contradicting the advice of the Platform’s advice, remains highly controversial. The current platform will be replaced by a Platform 2.0 with a narrower scope, limited to usability aspects of the current taxonomy.  Key aspects of the taxonomy depend on the final shape of Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive which is not yet agreed.

“Sustainable finance is the ultimate stage for the financial market to restore trust with workers” Confederal Secretary of ETUC, Liina Carr said. “The Commission cannot leave the work half-done in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis when speculators are circling. We need a comprehensive approach to sustainable finance that ensures that markets work for society. Leaving the taxonomy half-finished could mean less resources for workers’ vocational training, less resources for women to participate in the labour market and fewer opportunities for vulnerable workers to maintain their jobs.”

“First of all, we need to strengthen the draft Due Diligence Directive to make it robust and credible - something investors, businesses and workers can rely on. Secondly, the European Commission should reconsider its decision to drop the social taxonomy and put workers at the centre of the sustainable finance agenda. Finally, the ETUC calls on the European Commission to ensure the next Platform on sustainable finance includes trade unions and NGOs and its scope covers social taxonomy and just transition aspects of green investments.”