The German government created a Sustainable Finance Committee on 6 June 2019. The Committee’s purpose is to advise the German government as it drafts and implements a sustainable finance strategy, as well as to pool existing expertise and foster dialogue between the relevant players. Sustainable finance, as the German government understands it, designates the inclusion of sustainability aspects in decisions by financial market participants. The Committee is made up of representatives from business, civil society and academia, as well as representatives from a number of federal ministries.
A sustainable finance strategy that will promote sustainability in the finance industry is currently being developed at the initiative of the Federal Finance Ministry and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, in close consultation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. One long-term goal of the strategy is to use sustainable finance as a competitive advantage to boost Germany’s attractiveness for business and finance.
Dr Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, commented: “Considering environmental and climate risks when lending, investing or providing insurance contracts is in financial market participants’ own interest. This view is shared not only by the Federal Finance Ministry and the financial supervisors, but also by the greater part of the financial sector itself. Financial market participants should also recognise the opportunities that arise from the real economy’s shift towards becoming a more sustainable, climate-friendly economy. We have long been supporting sustainable finance at the European and at the national level. The expertise in this area is already very advanced in Germany. The Committee that we have created today, we hope, will support the German government with its expertise and provide valuable momentum for the financial sector.”
Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, stated: “Implementing energy, climate and sustainability goals is something that also concerns the financial sector. A forward-looking financial system that is geared towards sustainability is an essential pillar of our economy and society. This is why it is crucial that we lay the necessary groundwork now: Ecological and social aspects must be given far greater weight in investment decisions than has previously been the case. Important levers in this are mandatory disclosure rules regarding an investment’s impact on the climate and the environment. The good news is that profitability and sustainability can go hand in hand. Companies which set themselves ecological and social standards reduce investment risks and thus become more successful financially. Sustainability is an opportunity to find new ways of creating value.”
In today’s constitutive meeting, the Committee has set itself an extensive work programme and appointed Karsten Löffler of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as its chairman.