European Commissioner Janez Potočnik has said that the financial sector wants to see barriers removed that will prevent the development of a resource efficient economy.
The Commissioner held a roundtable recently involving senior delegates from the financial sector to identify ways in which adequate finance solutions can be developed for resource efficiency.
In a statement, he said: “Europe should become more active in eliminating barriers and obstacles that prevent investments into resource efficiency. That is the message I picked up from an in-depth and lively discussion with high-level actors of the financial sector, which I convened to explore how we can realise the objectives of the European Commission’s Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe.
“Finance is an essential factor in the transition to a resource efficient economy, where natural capital is preserved and our natural resources are managed in a sustainable way. We need investments in a wide range of activities, from eco-innovation to green infrastructure and improving processes in existing companies. This is key for Europe’s sustainable future and for competitiveness, growth and jobs.
“There was a clear view that finance can be mobilised because resource efficiency makes economic sense, but many obstacles still prevent these investments to materialise. Discussions today helped to gather concrete ideas for actions to overcome them. In particular, we discussed ways to mainstream resource efficiency across investment decisions and macroeconomic policies.
“Priorities identified included the factoring in of resource efficiency in reporting and risk assessment and more widely the responsibility of the financial actors (fiduciary duty); changing existing incentives so that long term considerations are not discarded and exploiting the potential of the bond markets and the financial instruments.
“The members of the roundtable will work together with the Commission to further refine some of the ideas in order to contribute to upcoming Commission proposals, notably as regards long term financing.”