Tanguy Claquin is head of Sustainable Banking - Crédit Agricole CIB.
What issues are involved in the taxonomy?
At this stage, in the field of responsible finance, the definition of what is and is not “green” is left up to private players, with no real guide on the part of public authorities.
With the development of the EU taxonomy, the issue lies in defining what, in Europe, is considered as a sustainable economic activity, starting with those that contribute to environmental objectives. This is an international issue, as the energy transition today is such that it impacts the whole world, with major economic effects, and also because Europe is the dominant market in “green” finance.
You are contributing to the work of the EU. What can you tell us about the role of banks in the development of the European regulation?
I am involved in the expert group that is advising the European Commission, my main role concerning the development of the EU Green Bond Standard. I represent all the cooperative banks through the European Association of Cooperative Banks (EACB) and I enable the working group to benefit from the experience of CACIB, a world leader in green bonds.
Generally speaking, cooperative banks stand apart in terms of responsible finance through their in-depth understanding of the subject and their strong ambitions. From local banks to investment banks, the environmental transition is impacting all of us. Cooperative banks are advocating a taxonomy that will enable “green” finance to work towards a fair and quick transition.
Through the various discussions in which it has taken part, Crédit Agricole has contributed in particular to the acknowledgement of several shades of “green” in the taxonomy. Two categories have been introduced in the regulation alongside zero-carbon business activities: “transition” activities that support high-emission businesses (for example, the use of natural gas in sea transport) and “facilitating” activities that contribute indirectly to the transition (for example, the industrial value chain enabling rail transport).
What kind of impact will the taxonomy have on our businesses?
Crédit Agricole Group entities are already very advanced on this topic. Generally speaking, the development of the taxonomy by the European Commission confirms all the choices of the Crédit Agricole Group in sustainable finance.
Naturally, we will need to adapt some of our reporting and remain attentive as the technical criteria are defined in various sectors, including agriculture.