Molly, who is the world’s first Professor of Green Economics and the European Parliament’s rapporteur on sustainable finance, will take part in a conference today in Brussels focused around the Commission’s Action Plan for Sustainable Finance.

The headline speaker at the conference will be French President Emmanuel Macron; Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the UN’s special envoy for climate action, Michael Bloomberg, will also speak.

The EU Commission is beginning a programme of legislation to redirect finance in line with the demands of tackling climate change and reducing pollution and waste, while increasing efficiency. Its sustainable finance action plan includes measures such as a labelling scheme for green financial products and strengthening the transparency of companies on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies. Molly’s own report to the European Parliament supports the Commission recommendations but says they are not always consistent with the actions of European institutions. She said:

“I am delighted with the commitment shown by the Commission in tackling this vital question of shifting finance away from carbon-intensive sectors and towards the sustainability transition. Europe is showing leadership and there seems to be considerable goodwill in national capitals and political agreement in the parliament.

“However my report will criticise our own institutions for not being consistent with the messages of the Action Plan or the Paris Agreement. A glaring example is the decision by the European Investment Bank to lend nearly €2.5bn to finance the Southern Gas Corridor which will lock us into gas dependency beyond the 2050 date when we have agreed to phase out fossil fuels.

“It is such a shame that London is losing out to Paris in the leadership on sustainable finance. Had we not voted to leave the EU it would have been the British Commissioner Lord Hill leading on the sustainable finance brief.”

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