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EC proposal for sustainable investment and risk disclosures must take account of existing rules

Insurance Europe has published its response to a consultation on the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on disclosures for sustainable investments and sustainability risks.

As Europe’s largest institutional investors, insurers invest their assets with a long-term perspective and sustainability is a key factor in their investment decisions.

Insurance Europe stressed that developing a EU taxonomy for sustainability must first be prioritised and accelerated. Any sustainability-related regulatory requirements linked to the taxonomy should remain voluntary until the taxonomy is sufficiently mature, so that market players are not exposed to uncertainty and legal risks.

Insurance Europe welcomes the fact that the Commission's proposal improves the availability of information on sustainability, which could potentially limit “greenwashing” of unsustainable investments. It also supports the recognition of all environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the sustainability definition, as this acknowledges their individual significance and their interconnection.

The proposal should be refined to ensure that its scope and definitions are consistent with existing legislation and that the meaning of the key concepts is clarified. There should also be balanced disclosures that help consumers make informed financial decisions but avoid unnecessary duplications and information overload.

Published 27 August 2018
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