Germany’s sustainable finance committee, the body advising the government on its sustainable finance strategy, has listed reporting, financing the economic transformation, and start-ups among its priorities for this legislative period, said Christian Heller, a member of the committee.

The group will also focus on digitalisation and data, capacity building, building international networks, and public investments.

It might also add other priorities or aspects relating to sustainable finance to its agenda in the next few years, as the environment is changing dynamically, Heller added, speaking at the conference “Sustainable finance – new EU standards, risk management and supervisory practice” held this week in Berlin.

He said the committee would “constructively and critically support” the government’s sustainable finance strategy.

The committee – which includes 34 advisers, 19 observers and government representatives from the finance, economic and justice ministries – is an independent body tasked with advising the government on which measures to take on sustainable finance.

The new committee – selected for this legislative period – is conducting its work based on 31 recommendations to build a sustainable financial system published by the previous committee last year.

After the first constitutional meeting in June, the new committee held another virtual meeting in mid-July to assemble the topics that the committee wants to push forward, Heller said.

At the end of this month there will be another meeting to define the working programme of the sustainable finance committee, he added.

The new group will take over two projects from its predecessor: the traffic light system for sustainable finance products, intended to help investors assessing sustainability when investing, and engagement, he added.

Moreover, a working group will handle the topic of strategy outreach of the sustainable finance committee. According to an agreement established by the country’s coalition government, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Liberal Party (FDP) intend to turn Germany into a leading location for sustainable finance.

The government would create framework conditions to market sustainable financial products, with an eye on climate and sustainability risks considered as financial risks.

The German government also supports European minimum requirements in the market for ESG ratings, the mandatory consideration of sustainability risks in credit ratings by the major rating agencies, and the integration of ecological and social values into existing accounting standards.

“We have in Germany a sustainable finance strategy with 26 measures that we want to implement, and we also have many rules at EU level running in parallel,” said Florian Toncar, parliamentary state secretary in the finance ministry.

The government issued green bonds and identified in its budget expenditure linked to the issuance of €60.9bn, he added.

Investors are asking for green bonds, and their emission is increasing year by year, Toncar said. The German government wants to regulate ESG rating and rating agencies, as stated in the coalition agreement, he noted.

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