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UCD Professors only academics appointed to EU Commission Platform on Sustainable Finance

  • Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2020

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UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Professor of Operational Risk, Banking & Finance Andreas Hoepner and Dr. Theodor Cojoianu Visiting Research Fellow at UCD Smurfit school and Assistant Professor in Finance, Queen's School of Management, have been the only finance professors to be appointed to the EU Commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance.

The platform will advise the EU Commission on sustainable finance policy, extending the EU Green Taxonomy (EU's classification of sustainable economic activities) and on the usability of sustainable financial datasets among others. The Platform is tasked with developing the key components of the toolset needed to achieve the European Green Deal.

As leaders of the UCD Smurfit School’s MSc in Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance, Professors Andreas and Theodor already lead in helping UCD Smurfit School students advance their understanding of financial data science and the application of sustainability factors with a focus on environmental issues to financial markets. Their course also features a strong low carbon energy component and aims to equip students with creative and analytical approaches to problem-solving in the sustainable finance context as well as enhance the students’ interpersonal and leadership skills.

In October, the European Commission published the list of members of the Platform on sustainable finance which includes 50 selected members and 10 special observers on the basis of their environmental, sustainable finance or social/human rights expertise.

According to the EU Commission’s website, the platform is an advisory body subject to the Commission’s horizontal rules for expert groups and is made up of experts from the private and public sector. This group of experts will have four main tasks:

1. Advise the Commission on the technical screening criteria for the EU Taxonomy, including on the usability of the criteria.

2. Advise the Commission on the review of the Taxonomy Regulation and on covering other sustainability objectives, including social objectives and activities that significantly harm the environment.

3. Monitor and report on capital flows towards sustainable investments.

4. Advise the Commission on sustainable finance policy more broadly.

In selecting the members, the Commission struck a very careful balance in choosing people from a wide range of sectors including civil society, industry and academia, and with different skills. The platform will reach out to a wide range of stakeholders through both public consultations and targeted outreach.

Following his appointment, Professor Hoepner said:

“Having been a member of the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, I am delighted to be re-appointed to the Platform on Sustainable Finance and even more delighted that Theodor is joining me this time. We both shall ensure that we contribute our knowledge developed in our Science Foundation Ireland funded project ‘AI for Anti-Greenwashing’ to the platform. This will also allow us to teach our MSc students sustainable finance based on cutting edge financial data science and literally the latest policy development.”

In addition to the members selected through the call for applications, Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) directly appointed representatives from 7 public entities, namely the European Environment Agency, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the three European Supervisory Agencies and the European Agency for Fundamental Rights.

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