PensionsEurope calls on EC to create open source EU ESG data register

PensionsEurope has sent a joint letter to the European Commission (EC) calling for the establishment of an open source European Union (EU) environmental, social and governance (ESG) data register.

Other signatories of the letter include the European Association of Cooperative Banks (EACB), European Banking Federation (EBF), European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), European Savings Banks Group (ESBG) and Insurance Europe.

“Our associations are committed to supporting the transition to a more sustainable economy and to tackling climate change that we consider a priority. We strongly support the EU objective of transforming Europe into the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050 and are ready to contribute as representatives of the financial sector,” the letter stated.

The signatories believe that recent regulatory developments in the context of the EU sustainable finance agenda create an urgent need for publicly available ESG data as well as how to enhance their sourcing. Compliance with the new disclosure obligations introduced by the sustainability disclosures regulation requires financial market participants to have access to comparable robust and reliable ESG data at the level of companies.

However the signatories say the availability of quality, comparable, reliable and public ESG data is currently rather limited and insufficient to comply with the increasing expectations and new regulatory requirements due to apply shortly. This is why the associations are calling for the creation of a centralised electronic open source EU ESG data register.

Furthermore, they believe it should have the following characteristics: the data register should focus on ESG disclosure in line with the non-financial reporting directive (NFRD), EU taxonomy based information, starting with climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives, as well as ESG data necessary to financial market participants to comply with the SFDR.

The register should also include relevant ESG information already collected by European and national institutions such as governments, central banks, statistical bodies, etc. In addition, they think the data should be gathered and made available digitally to users of non-financial information, not only investors, but also lenders, academia, researchers, authorities and others.

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