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Sustainable investments should benefit citizens, not big industries, say S&Ds


Euro & Finance
The regulation voted on today should gradually create a unified classification system ('taxonomy') on what can be considered an environmentally sustainable economic activity in Europe. It is one of the three reports of the EU Action Plan to mainstream environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when taking decisions on investments, along with a regulation to make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer - a report led in the Parliament by S&D MEP Paul Tang -, and a report by S&D MEP Neena Gill  establishing low-carbon benchmarks that was adopted today. 
For the Socialists and Democrats this Action Plan is a crucial instrument for a just transition towards a sustainable economy and social model that leaves no one behind, and we will continue to fight for a better final regulation on the classification system.  
Simona Bonafè, S&D negotiator on establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, said: 
"To accelerate a transition towards a more sustainable economic system, a consistent framework for investments is needed. With today’s vote, the Parliament stands for the inclusion of all financial products under the scope of the regulation and approves significant steps ahead in regard of the measurement of environmental sustainability. Beyond this, finally there is clarity on the exclusion of solid fossil fuels from the field of sustainable investments.  
“Nevertheless, the opportunity to include the social dimension in the sustainable taxonomy, once again supported in plenary debate and votes by our Group, was missed because of the strong opposition from conservative groups. This Regulation is only a first step on the path to sustainable finance; we will carry on our battle to include ESG factors all along the way." 
Elena Gentile MEP, who is the S&D negotiator in the environment committee, said: 
“We managed to strengthen the provisions on climate mitigation and circular economy into the text. However, we were not able to protect the social aspects of the new legislation. It is time for liberals and conservatives to understand that citizens should not pay the price for industrial greed and for the risks associated with climate change. Hopefully a more progressive EU in the next legislature will take up our struggle to ensure that environmental and economic sustainability goes hand in hand with the well-being and prosperity of people in Europe.”