22 December, 2016

In December 2016, the European Commission announced the composition of its High-Level Expert Group on sustainable finance. The Group comprises 20 policy leaders from civil society, the finance sector and academia.

The objective is that the Expert Group provides, by the end of 2017, recommendations for a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union. The Commission will draw on these recommendations to determine how to integrate sustainability considerations into the EU’s rules for the financial sector. This marks an important step in the follow-up to the EU’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The European Commission has appointed as Chairperson Christian Thimann, Group Head of Regulation, Sustainability and Insurance Foresight of AXA. Mr Thimann has recently served as Vice-Chair of the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures. In addition to his international leadership role on policy issues in the field of sustainable finance, he has a long history of managing challenging European policy briefs in both the public (European Central Bank) and private (AXA) sector. Christian Thimann is co-Chair of UNEP FI’s steering Committtee. UNEP FI members Steve Waygood of Aviva Investors and Philippe Zaouati of Mirova are also part of the high-level group. UN Environment Inquiry’s Nick Robins is an observer.

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