Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones has promised to work with the finance industry to create national standards for a green taxonomy that will define sustainable finance in Australia.
Jones didn’t say that the upcoming green taxonomy would be written into law, but he did say that when the final version of the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute (ASFI) green taxonomy is done, the government will talk to the business community.
“We’re committed to having national standards. Whether and how it sits inside the legislative framework is, I think, something we should have a consultation with industry on,” he said.
“There are lots of ways we can achieve the same objective, but what we are absolutely committed to doing is ensuring that we have a national, industry-driven taxonomy so that you can all get on with the job with sensible analytics and capital deployment.”
Jones spoke at the ASFI Summit in Sydney. FS Sustainability is a media partner at the summit. Jones praised the work of the finance industry in making a sustainable finance taxonomy.
“It’s not just about calling out greenwashing as important as it is,” Jones said.
“It is important, and our regulators are doing it, but they frankly are, with the current regulatory settings, the best they are going to be able to do is call out and catch the most egregious examples.
“We could do much better than that. We need to do much better than that, which is why working together with you on a green taxonomy that aligns with international standards and that has an Australian accent is going to be absolutely critical.”
Jones said that private investment will be needed to get the investments needed to meet the government’s goal of cutting carbon emissions by 43% by 2030.
“What I can confirm with you today is our absolute commitment to pick up the baton that has been led by industry and ensure that we can accelerate and put in place the standards you need,” Jones said.
“Together with government policy, together with government assistance around skill acquisition and deepening our skill base and our workforce capacity, the finance market and our capital markets must have a common set of standards around which we can assess the performance of the business.
“Unless our capital markets have a common language and a common set of standards, we are not going to get the most efficient allocation of capital to do the ambitious work that we know needs to be done.”