The transition to a net-zero emission economy will require significant private and public investment, but the EU is not doing enough to channel money into sustainable activities. That is the conclusion of a special report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) that calls for more consistent EU action. The European Commission has rightly focused on increasing transparency in the market, but the auditors criticise the lack of accompanying measures to address the environmental and social cost of unsustainable economic activities. According to the report, the Commission needs to apply consistent criteria to determine the sustainability of EU budget investments and better target efforts to generate sustainable investment opportunities.
“The EU’s actions on sustainable finance will not be fully effective unless additional measures are taken to price in the environmental and social costs of unsustainable activities,” said Eva Lindström, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “Unsustainable business is still too profitable. The Commission has done a lot to make this unsustainability transparent, but this underlying problem still needs to be addressed”.