Green finance: definitions and implications for investments

EU Taxonomy Solutions

Landmark international steps were taken with the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. These commitments, together with the growing awareness of the urgency to address climate change and environmental degradation, and the importance of maintaining the EU’s competitiveness, called for a better alignment of the financial system with EU policies supporting sustainability while reducing environmental risks. The European Commission's Directorate for the Environment therefore awarded COWI the contract to analyse the worldwide efforts to define 'green' in the context of green bonds, lending and listed equity.  

COWI described methods for identifying green assets and activities through conceptual definitions, taxonomies, rating methodologies and other mechanisms. COWI then suggested policy actions which the European Commission could consider to support the development of 'green' definitions, and discussed possible implications of such actions. Its preliminary findings are intended to feed into the work of the EU High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.  




May 2017-December 2017 

European Commission – Directorate for the Environment


  • data collection 
  • stakeholder interviews 
  • survey of the European and international financial community, including asset owners, asset managers and others 
  • development of definitions of green finance and a taxonomy-based approach to addressing it. 

Get in contact

Ivo Georgiev

Ivo Georgiev
Project Director
Deal Advisory and Due Diligence, Denmark

Tel: +45 5640 4950