Commentaires de Philippe Zaouati sur la publication des rapports du TEG (Commission Européenne)

Commentaires de Philippe Zaouati, directeur général de Mirova, sur la publication des rapports du groupe d’experts technique sur la finance durable (TEG), créé par la Commission Européenne :

The three TEG reports released today will contribute to clarify the field of sustainable finance, with one report on the EU Green Bond Standard, one on climate benchmarks and one on the EU taxonomy for climate mitigation and adaptation.

The EU taxonomy will provide a common language, with precise definitions of what can be considered as sustainably contributing to climate mitigation and climate adaptation. This approach is essential at a moment when investors need some clarity for the green transition. The taxonomy provides a dictionary, now we need the grammar. The Council will have to define how investors, other financial players but also corporate issuers can and should use it. To ensure that the use of the EU taxonomy is ambitious, realistic and fair, a few principles should be respected. First, on disclosure and transparency, the taxonomy should help all stakeholders, including corporate issuers, and not be limited only to investors offering products as environmentally sustainable. Green players should not be the only ones to support the burden of demonstrating their compatibility with a zero net emissions scenario for 2050: this concerns the entire economy and financial sector. The level of granularity required by the taxonomy is another issue that needs to be tackled, in a progressive and differentiated manner. Including the list of economic activities substantially contributing to at least one of the six environmental objectives in EU green finance standards and labels should be the first ambition. At this stage, the technical requirements of the taxonomy (metrics, thresholds, etc) should be used as indicative guidelines only, but integrated progressively in the EU disclosure requirements for issuers. These technical requirements would also provide investors with a basis for engagement.

With regards to climate benchmarks: our portfolio manager Manuel Coeslier has greatly contributed to the drafting of the TEG report. The two new categories of benchmarks to be created pave the way for more ambitious climate-related investment strategies, addressing several caveats of existing benchmarks with notably the consideration of life-cycle based emissions assessments. More broadly, the disclosure requirements for all benchmarks is an essential step towards transparency on the climate impact of benchmarked investments. While methodologies are evolving fast in this field, a strong basis and a common language at the European level are very welcome.