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18 Okt 2023

Frank Bold

European Parliament enhances corporate transparency

The motion to reject the proposed standardisation of sustainability data was brought by a group of German EPP and Renew members of the Parliament, who ignored calls from financial market participants and other stakeholders outlining the need  for sustainability information being promptly available in order to comply with other pieces of legislation. The support to the motion was provided primarily by ID and ECR groups. 

Notably, a number of MEPs from the EPP did not support the group’s line of vote and the vast majority of Renew rejected the motion...

By requesting the reduction of reporting standards, this initiative failed to consider the ratio of the legal piece. Sustainability reporting is already a business reality, and standardisation serves to simplify the process. Without standardisation, companies not publishing sustainability information would increasingly face demands from financial institutions to report it in multiple non-standardized ways, causing additional burden and uncertainty. The ESRS, by covering a wide range of ESG topics, provide enough legal certainty for different activities while creating a rich and comprehensive technical piece of legislation for jurisdictions worldwide.

After today’s session, the EU once again has emerged as a global leader in sustainable finance and corporate transparency, setting an aspiring high bar for other jurisdictions to follow. The set 1 of ESRS, which will apply from January 2024,  provides a vital framework for transparency in climate and circular economy transition, human rights, and biodiversity. In light of the hottest summer on record and the crossing of six out of nine planetary boundaries, the Parliament  confirmed today the EU's ambition of building a better economy that prioritises environmental respect and protection while ensuring social fairness. 

Now and until the end of the scrutiny period the Delegated Act is still to be discussed in the Council of the EU.