The Chamber welcomed Philip Owen, Head of Unit; “Climate Finance, mainstreaming, Montreal protocol,” DG Climate action at the European Commission, and Ms Burçak Inel, Head of Financing Growth at the European Banking Federation, at this lunch panel debate.
The Commission has been increasingly focusing on sustainable finance as a means to achieve a climate resilient economy. They have been integrating sustainability considerations into financial policy frameworks in an effort to make financial flows sustainable, and thus reach diverse climate related targets, such as the EU 2030 climate and energy framework but also the Paris Agreements and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Commission’s action plan on financing sustainable growth, which was released in May 2018, was presented and discussed during the briefing. The three proposals included in the package are:
- A proposal for a regulation establishing an EU classification system for sustainable investment (taxonomy)
- A proposal for a regulation on disclosures
- A proposal for a regulation amending the benchmark regulation, which will include a new low-carbon benchmark
The EU taxonomy is mainly focused on the environment for now, but intends to encompass social objectives in the long-term.
The panellists and our members discussed the importance of sustainable finance today in order to achieve the numerous Sustainable Developments Goals. They acknowledged that there was still a long way to go and that the public sector wouldn’t be able to achieve these goals without the involvement of the private sector. In that regard, the European Banking Federation is closely supporting the Commission’s actions, such as their work on incentives and disincentives for a transition to a low-carbon economy.
Victor van Hoorn, Head of Financial Services at Hume Brophy and Vice-Chair of our Investment & Growth Task Force at the chamber, kindly shared his thoughts on the event with us: “The event organised by the British Chamber was extremely useful as it allowed participants to discuss the EU Sustainable Finance through the lens of climate change/climate finance, bringing together the financial industry and corporates. And as ever, Philip Owen was able to articulate how the sustainable finance agenda sits with the broader energy, climate change and sustainability agenda of the European Commission.”
Head of Unit: "Climate finance, mainstreaming, Montreal Protocol" DG Climate Action | European Commission
Mr. Philip Owen joined the European Commission in 1990 having spent 12 years in the private sector. He spent a number of years in DG Competition, followed by three years in DG Regional Policy. He was in DG Environment from 2002 to 2010 having been in charge of the DG's financial management as well as its project funding initiative. Philip Owen moved to DG Climate Action, in mid-February 2010, to deal with climate action policy for road vehicles and fuels as well as dealing with ozone and fluorinated gas issues and the UN's Montreal Protocol. From 1 January 2016, his work encompasses climate finance, mainstreaming climate action into the Commission's spending as well as the Montreal Protocol.
Head of Financing Growth | European Banking Federation
With over 15 years of experience in the field of European financial sector policy, Burçak joined the European Banking Federation, which represents the European banking industry, in 2017 to create a new unit focusing on financing growth, including business finance, financial markets and sustainable finance. Prior to this post, she was the Deputy Secretary General of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges, for which she worked for nine years. Her work in Brussels has covered many different aspects of financial markets law and policy. In her last years at FESE, she progressively focused on economic growth, spearheading the European IPO Task Force and the Small and Mid-cap Awards of the Year. She was also a member of the EU Commission’s Steering Committee on SME Growth and Crowdfunding Stakeholder Group. Her first post in Brussels was as the Financial Markets Advisor of the EBF. In 2003, Burçak received the “Lobbyist of the Year” award in a global competition organized by Euromoney for a campaign she led on primary markets. Before moving to Europe, she worked for five years for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on developing financial markets in transition economies. A Belgian and Turkish national, Burçak holds a Political Science B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a Master degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, both in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to the US, she completed her secondary school studies at the American Robert College of Istanbul. She speaks English, French, German and Turkish. She has two children.