The European Union has the tools to boost a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, say TEG experts

In a statement released today, the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) describes how existing EU tools (e.g. EU taxonomy, EU Green Bond Standard, Climate Transition Benchmarks) can inform a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

As the rate of new coronavirus cases and deaths slows across the European Union, and governments look for lockdown exit strategies, more and more voices are calling for a green recovery. 

In a message recorded for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, UN chief Antonio Guterres urged governments to use their economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic to also tackle the planet’s unfolding environmental crisis. In turn, the European Commission’s Green Deal chief Frans Timmersmans, has assured EU lawmakers that “every euro” spent on economic recovery measures after the COVID-19 crisis would be linked to the green and digital transitions. 

The EU Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance, set up to advise the European Commission on the Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth’s implementation, has released its recommendations to guide the EU plans for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In their statement, the experts emphasise that governments “must be attentive to the details of what a resilient, sustainable and fair recovery looks like in practice—to ensure greater resilience to further environmental and social crises ahead.” EIT Climate-KIC was represented in the TEG working group by EIT Climate-KIC Board Member Sandrine Dixson Declève and EIT Climate-KIC Head of International Affairs Felicity Spors.

In the statement, the experts write, “While governments, public institutions and the private sector focus urgently on protecting health, incomes and businesses, we are reminded that building capacity and resilience in our social and economic systems is what provides the best protections in moments of crisis.” They recall that the European Union already has many tools at its disposal to inform a sustainable recovery from the crisis.

Spors said, “We need to increase resilience to global risks, and COVID-19 has shown us the terrible costs of being unprepared. Using the EU Sustainable Finance toolbox, which includes a Taxonomy to help investors identify what investments will results in avoidance of climate risks, will help governments invest in an economic regeneration that will make us stronger in the face of future climate impacts and other crises.” 

In addition to the Sustainable Taxonomy, the EU Sustainable Finance toolbox also includes the Green Bond Standard, which presents a best practice model, the elements of which can be applied by all bond issuers to explain how their funding contributes to the wider sustainability strategy and resulting environmental and social impacts of the issuer. Moreover, the Paris-Aligned and Climate Transition Benchmarks support allocation of a large amount of private capital towards climate transition by aligning investors’ portfolio selection with climate change objectives, particularly the IPCC’s 1.5-degree trajectory. Finally, the Roadmap to Recovery, introduced by European Council President Charles Michel, states that “the Green transition and the Digital transformation will play a central and priority role in relaunching and modernising our economy” and calls for a coordinated exit strategy and a comprehensive recovery plan. 

“Recovery plans should not support environmentally or socially harmful activities, which would worsen the current and future crises, locking in highly polluting infrastructure or promoting activities that do not contribute to social wellbeing for decades to come,” writes the TEG experts, who emphasise that the Green Deal is central to the recovery and that the European climate goals must be used to calibrate the EU response.

The world needs a simultaneous, multi-dimensional response to COVID-19, to address both the devastating immediate impacts on people, health systems and economy, and longer-term considerations. This includes the need to act now to ensure that economic recovery is aligned with climate and SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) commitments as we consider ways to protect, reboot and regenerate economies. EIT Climate-KIC’s COVID-19-related communications will respond to all these needs. Please visit our COVID-19 Response Hub for more information.

 
Location
Related Goal
Goal 12: Foster bankable green assets in cities
Articles you may be interested in
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
In Detail
Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach

The challenge-led system mapping approach responds to the need to improve the practitioner’s capacity to move towards system change by providing mechanisms by which...

Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to provide “systems transformation as...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate change
In Detail
A Deep Demonstration of Healthy, Clean Cities: Our Position Narrative for In...

Innovation-as-usual, which is typically siloed and focused on ‘supplying’ the market with technology-led solutions, is not going to deliver a just, inclusive world within 1.5-degree of warming from pre-industrial levels. Innovation...

A Deep Demonstration of Healthy, Clean Cities: Our Position Narrative for Integral District Renewal
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’

EIT Climate-KIC, together with Edgeryders, ETH Zurich and IOTA,...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Climate expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Climate expert insights
Opinion
Who’s doing what: A news round-up of selected COVID-19 responses and recovery plans
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
Who’s doing what: A news round-up of selected COVID-19 responses and recovery plans
In The News
Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots

Yesterday, EIT Climate-KIC community member ‘Co-Action,’ a carbon capture...

Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots
In Detail
Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for global sustainable finance: An int...

The UN Environment convened Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) recently published a working paper, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, on the implications of the COVID-19...

Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for global sustainable finance: An internal framework for response strategies
In Detail
A cartoonathon: Using humour to drive insights

Last week, in an event supported by EIT Climate-KIC, over 150 participants from more than 60 countries took part in a virtual ‘cartoonathon’ to...

A cartoonathon: Using humour to drive insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches Call for Proposals to support post-COVID-19 green rec...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ‘Extraordinary Post COVID-19 Regeneration Call 2020’ will...

EIT Climate-KIC launches Call for Proposals to support post-COVID-19 green recovery
Opinion
COVID-19 responses and recovery plans—the good news and the bad news
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
COVID-19 responses and recovery plans—the good news and the bad news
Innovation Spotlight
How to engage citizens in a just transformation process

With climate change, we are facing one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime – one that...

How to engage citizens in a just transformation process
In our community
Interview with Thomas O’Neill, Influence Map
Interview with Thomas O’Neill, Influence Map
In our community
The EU’s Coronavirus Response Initiative: An interview with Felicity Spors...
The EU’s Coronavirus Response Initiative: An interview with Felicity Spors, Head of International Affairs Strategy at EIT Climate-KIC
Opinion
Will COVID-19 derail climate finance?
Dominic Hofstetter Director, Capital & Investments, EIT-Climate-KIC
Will COVID-19 derail climate finance?
Opinion
Transformative policies for the climate challenge
Rachael McGuinness Policy Innovation, EIT Climate-KIC
Transformative policies for the climate challenge
In Detail
Exploring frontiers in sustainability: Bringing futures literacy to financia...

As part of EIT Climate-KIC’s Long-termism Deep Demonstration, Riyong Kim, Director of Decision Metrics and Finance at EIT Climate-KIC, has co-authored a new report,...

Exploring frontiers in sustainability: Bringing futures literacy to financial services in Ireland and France
Opinion
Long democracies
Dark Matter
Long democracies
Opinion
Long financing in a volatile world
Dark Matter
Long financing in a volatile world
Opinion
Long welfare
Dark Matter
Long welfare
Opinion
Abstracted to entangled organisation
Dark Matter
Abstracted to entangled organisation
Opinion
Persistent things
Dark Matter
Persistent things
Opinion
Persistent selves
Dark Matter
Persistent selves
Opinion
Futures in long-termism
Dark Matter
Futures in long-termism
In our community
Strengthening community ties and supporting each other through the COVID-19 ...
Strengthening community ties and supporting each other through the COVID-19 crisis
Opinion
The Corona canvas: How to deal with the crisis as a founder
Marc Mogalle & Anje Kluth Business Buddies & EIT Climate-KIC
The Corona canvas: How to deal with the crisis as a founder
In The News
Lilium completes funding round worth over €224 million

EIT Climate-KIC supported Lilium, a Munich-based aviation company developing...

Lilium completes funding round worth over €224 million
In The News
TWAICE raises €11 million series A to power internationalisation efforts and...

EIT Climate-KIC supported TWAICE, a Munich-based battery specialist, has...

TWAICE raises €11 million series A to power internationalisation efforts and scaling