ANNOUNCEMENT: Expert Investor is now PA Europe. Read more.

WWF, ShareAction and E3G outline six objectives to support sustainable European investment

‘The funding needs are significant, but far from insurmountable’


Pete Carvill

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has laid out six objectives to help support investment in Europe’s energy transition.

In collaboration with ShareAction and E3G, the charity has published Investing in Europe’s Prosperity: A Vision for Financing the Transition to Sustainability 2024-2030, which runs to 118 pages.

The six objectives were: channelling investment for an effective transition; ensuring consistency and effectiveness of sustainability reporting; removing obstacles for consumers to invest sustainably; setting strong standards for due-diligence and engagement by financial institutions; accounting for climate and sustainability risk; and enhancing accountability and sustainability expertise in corporate governance.

“The funding needs are significant, but far from insurmountable,” said the report’s authors. “Much can be achieved by making sure more existing finance – both private and public – ends up in the right place. However, the conditions under which these decisions will have to be made in the coming five years have become challenging.”

They added: “Multiple crises, increased inflation and social inequality, and geostrategic competition have affected the political space and support for the sustainable transition in Europe. To achieve sustained political and popular support for the transition, its benefits must be confidently communicated, including inclusion, safety and economic competitiveness.”

‘Excellent leadership’

The authors maintained too much money was still being invested in goals that run counter to those of the transition, arguing three-quarters of the funding gap for decarbonisation by the end of the decade could be filled by diverting existing finance from “harmful or superfluous” activities. They acknowledged, however, the beneficial role the EU has played so far, citing “excellent leadership” on behalf of the bloc.

They added: “To date, the EU’s focus has been on encouraging transparency and making it easier for investors to identify sustainable activities to invest in. Now, action needs to move to providing stronger incentives for investors to put their money towards sustainability objectives.”

At both the national and continental levels, the report called for the phasing out of subsidies for measures harmful to the environment, reducing the exposure of public budgets to fossil fuels, applying progressive taxation on carbon-intensive consumption, using corporate tax policy to encourage sustainability, and including the cost of inaction in debates about investments.