This morning, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen delivered the opening address at the EU Sustainable Investment Summit, the first annual event on sustainable finance hosted by the European Commission.
In her speech, the President spoke about the current rise in energy prices: “In these very weeks, we all see how crucial it is to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal. So in the long term, the European Green Deal and renewables are the solution to the rising electricity prices. Every euro spent on renewable energies does help our planet. And it equally helps the consumers. But it is also an investment in the resilience of our economies. So, we have to speed up our work on the European Green Deal to become more energy independent.”
President von der Leyen identified two key challenges we need to address to boost global sustainable investment: First, how to attract more capital towards sustainable investment. Second, how to bring more countries on board, and raise the global ambition. The speech was also an occasion for her to recall Europe’s commitment and leadership: “Europe can lead by the power of its example. Europe has become the home of sustainable investment. The European green bond market today is worth around €1 trillion. We have built the largest carbon market in the world, with our Emissions Trading System. And later this month, we will strengthen our leadership, when we will start issuing green bonds worth €250 billion, as part of NextGenerationEU. This is a leadership we are proud of, and we will keep consolidating.” Finally, looking ahead to the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, the President said: “The COP26 in Glasgow will be a moment of truth for the global community. Ambitions need to be backed by concrete plans. And Europe will continue to engage, with the highest level of ambition.”