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 The News
Biden’s Opportunity for Reinventing Climate Innovation

Joe Biden will be sworn in today as 46th...

Biden’s Opportunity for Reinventing Climate Innovation
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s Open Accelerator: collaboration, not competition

It is no secret that to tackle climate change...

EIT Climate-KIC’s Open Accelerator: collaboration, not competition
In The News
New platform inspires sustainable Nordic wood construction

This week marks the launch of NoMuWood.com, an EIT...

New platform inspires sustainable Nordic wood construction
In The News
European Union launches Pact to support citizen-led climate action

On Wednesday 16 December, the European Commission is launching...

European Union launches Pact to support citizen-led climate action
In The News
“An avalanche of hope and energy”: The power of Paris

Our Climate Champions 2020: Melissa Capcha. Five years on...

“An avalanche of hope and energy”: The power of Paris
In The News
“Let’s find ways to take action within our abilities”

Our Climate Champions 2020: Gopal Kumar Mohoto. Five years...

“Let’s find ways to take action within our abilities”
In The News
“Climate change is outpacing us, there is no time for excuses”

Our Climate Champions 2020: Cristina Aleixendri Muñoz. Five years...

“Climate change is outpacing us, there is no time for excuses”
In The News
COP26 gives Scotland “a platform to showcase… what’s possible”

Our Climate Champions 2020: Kit England. Five years on...

COP26 gives Scotland “a platform to showcase… what’s possible”
In The News
COP26 might be postponed but “climate action cannot wait”

Our Climate Champions 2020: Melani Furlan. Five years on...

COP26 might be postponed but “climate action cannot wait”
In The News
A climate service for flood risk mapping in urban areas

The SaferPlaces project, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, has created...

A climate service for flood risk mapping in urban areas
In The News
Raising climate awareness through art in the Glasgow City Region

The Glasgow City Region uses arts as a means...

Raising climate awareness through art in the Glasgow City Region
In The News
Helping Europe achieve a circular economy transition

EIT Climate-KIC, EIT RawMaterials, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT...

Helping Europe achieve a circular economy transition
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and EASME host WCEF event on circular economy

The World Circular Economy Forum brings together business leaders,...

EIT Climate-KIC and EASME host WCEF event on circular economy
In The News
Citizens across globe eager to contribute to a post-COVID recovery

Over 4,500 citizens from around the world will join...

Citizens across globe eager to contribute to a post-COVID recovery
In The News
Transformative climate action and COP26: Join our webinar

Are you working to deliver transformative change for a...

Transformative climate action and COP26: Join our webinar
In The News
Madrid, Amsterdam and Milan: Three cities putting citizen participation at the...

The Extinction Rebellion or Fridays for Future global actions...

Madrid, Amsterdam and Milan: Three cities putting citizen participation at the heart of climate action
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC selected to become a member of the European Circular Economy S...

EIT Climate-KIC circular economy expert, Cliona Howie, will join...

EIT Climate-KIC selected to become a member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
In The News
Partnering with EIT Climate-KIC on the New Accelerator: Call for Expressions o...

We are looking for new and existing EIT Climate-KIC...

Partnering with EIT Climate-KIC on the New Accelerator: Call for Expressions of Interest
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC leads collective efforts to accelerate Madrid’s transition t...

A cross- KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) initiative is...

EIT Climate-KIC leads collective efforts to accelerate Madrid’s transition towards carbon neutrality
In The News
The Human Capital project is the EU educational sector’s answer to robots ta...

Supported by the European Institute of Technology (EIT) and...

The Human Capital project is the EU educational sector’s answer to robots taking over jobs—and AI has a role to play
In The News
New online magazine Branch explores the sustainability of the internet

This week saw the launch of Branch magazine, a...

New online magazine Branch explores the sustainability of the internet
In The News
Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards

Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators have been nominated to win...

Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC selected to advise European Commission on sustainable finance

The newly created EU Platform on Sustainable Finance brings...

EIT Climate-KIC selected to advise European Commission on sustainable finance
In The News
bound4blue’s innovative wingsail technology gathers recognition across Europe

Cristina Aleixendri, Co-founder and COO of the Spanish start-up...

bound4blue’s innovative wingsail technology gathers recognition across Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Glasgow City Region join forces, helping the region innova...

Home to one third of Scotland’s population and provider...

EIT Climate-KIC and Glasgow City Region join forces, helping the region innovate to become climate resilient
In The News
Cassetex from Bangladesh, Sosei from Uruguay and Carbon Craft Design from Indi...

More than 3,000 entrepreneurs from 56 countries participated in...

Cassetex from Bangladesh, Sosei from Uruguay and Carbon Craft Design from India win the seventh edition of ClimateLaunchpad
In The News
World’s biggest green business ideas competition now fully digital, free and...

The three-day Grand Global Final of the EIT Climate-KIC supported...

World’s biggest green business ideas competition now fully digital, free and accessible to all
In The News
Three cities building back better: Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam

EIT Climate-KIC will host a session at the 18th...

Three cities building back better: Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC to work with Google on Impact Challenge

EIT Climate-KIC is delighted to announce that it will...

EIT Climate-KIC to work with Google on Impact Challenge
In The News
What role can finance play in the green recovery? EIT Climate-KIC and UNEP Fin...

EIT Climate-KIC, in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative,...

What role can finance play in the green recovery? EIT Climate-KIC and UNEP Finance Initiative ask leading thinkers to weigh in