We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
EuropeanIssuers appears to have engaged on a number of sustainable finance policy streams to oppose any increased obligations for the corporate sector.
EuropeanIssuers have used social media posts to suggest they broadly support for regulation on sustainable finance. However, in a position paper on the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance in 2018, EuropeanIssuers appeared to emphasise the need to focus on economic factors other than sustainability when reforming the financial sector. In a 2019 position paper, EuropeanIssuers suggested that the Action Plan could harm the functioning of markets and the building of the Capital Markets Union.
EuropeanIssuers has been particularly engaged on the taxonomy regulation in 2019-20, opposing requirements for corporate disclosure of CapEx and OpEx in line with the taxonomy, opposing expansion to cover environmentally harmful activities and arguing for weaker thresholds for in-transition activities in a statement to MEPs. EuropeanIssuers was reportedly successful in lobbying against progressive amendments proposed by the European Parliament. EuropeanIssuers reiterated these positions in feedback to the Commission in 2020, arguing for a weaker approach to in-transition activities and opposing the expansion to cover environmentally harmful activities.
In feedback to the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group (TEG) in March 2019, EuropeanIssuers argued for a less ambitious and detailed approach to climate-related disclosures under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and has called for these to remain voluntary. In 2020, EuropeanIssuers supported the review of the NFRD with major exceptions including not supporting disclosure for SMEs, arguing against digitalization of non-financial information and arguing for flexibility in determining what is 'material' and on where non-financial information is published. In a 2021 press release, EuropeanIssuers opposed much of the ambition of the NFRD (now called the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), including the expansion of the scope to SMEs and described the framework as "too prescriptive".
In a position paper in January 2019, EuropeanIssuers commented on the EU disclosures regulation to argue against inclusion of governance factors and oppose extension of scope to investee companies and on the EU climate benchmarks regulation to suggest the policy should be restricted to the green niche and to support a delay for 3rd country benchmarks. In feedback to the European Commission on the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy in 2020, EuropeanIssuers advocated against proposed exclusion criteria in the EU Ecolabel and appeared to be cautious about further EU legislation on labelling on sustainability linked bonds and loans and ESG benchmarks.