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EU Sustainable Finance Plan Risks Harming Green SMEs

EU Sustainable Finance Plan risks harming green SMEs

Brussels, 19 November 2019: Tomorrow co-legislators hold another trilogue negotiation round on the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. Ecopreneur.eu is concerned that the current proposal will in fact reduce the access to finance for green SMEs.

Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, is concerned that the current Proposal for a framework to facilitate sustainable investment discussed in the EU trilogue will reduce the access to finance for green companies, particularly for SMEs. Companies seeking sustainable investments will be faced with costly reporting requirements and audit costs, while all other companies can continue business as usual.

While firmly supporting the policy objective to improve the access to finance for green companies while preventing greenwashing, Ecopreneur.eu is strongly opposing the measure proposed. Due diligence about the sustainability of investments should be required from all companies and be based on providing information that is already available to the company.

Many of our company partners are already facing an unlevel playing field with additional administrative burdens (e.g. from obtaining a gold level for one of the Ecolabels) on top of existing requirements (such as those coming from REACH). By limiting the scope to environmentally sustainable investments, the current proposal runs a severe risk of decreasing the access to finance for green companies, especially for green SMEs. Many of them will not be able to meet the requirements from investors for even more red tape. This seems all the more problematic because a lack of access to finance is already a major obstacle for many green SMEs. Since most eco-innovations come from SMEs, the proposal might in fact create a backlash in the development of the circular economy in Europe.

Ecopreneur.eu therefore calls on the European Council, Parliament and Commission to reconsider the sustainable finance proposal and ensure that it actually facilitates the access to finance for green SMEs.

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