Sustainability Disclosure in the EU Financial Sector

42 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2020 Last revised: 12 Apr 2021

See all articles by Danny Busch

Danny Busch

Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Financial Law (IFR)

Date Written: April 6, 2021


The aim of the chapter is twofold. On the one hand, it explores the main features of the
Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. On the other hand, it tries to assess
whether the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation is likely to succeed in
harmonising sustainability-related (i) disclosure rules and (ii) fiduciary duties, not only
across Member States, but also across financial products and distribution channels. The
author concludes that before we reach a sufficient degree of harmonisation of
sustainability-related disclosure rules and fiduciary duties there is still a long way to
go. And even if we reach the required degree of harmonisation in the EU, it is not a
given that this will necessarily lead to a more sustainable world. As may be gleaned
from the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Finance Action Plan, the EU is
aiming high when it comes to sustainability. But the EU is not an island. The author
argues that there are roughly two opposite scenarios. In a pessimistic scenario, the
more lenient or even non-existent sustainability agenda of other geopolitical powers
gives them a competitive edge that is detrimental to the EU. In a positive scenario, the
EU becomes a global standard-setter in the area of sustainability. Large global
institutional investors such as Blackrock and State Street in any event say they are
strong supporters of the sustainability agenda. Also, the re-entry of the USA in the Paris
Climate Agreement under the Biden Administration may give us some hope.

Keywords: sustainable finance, ESF, disclosure rules, fiduciary duties, financial markets, EU

JEL Classification: K20, K21, K22, N20

Suggested Citation

Busch, Danny, Sustainability Disclosure in the EU Financial Sector (April 6, 2021). European Banking Institute Working Paper Series 2021 - n. 70, Available at SSRN: or

Danny Busch (Contact Author)

Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Financial Law (IFR) ( email )


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