The European Commission's recommendation to create an EU-wide 'single access point' as part of the capital markets union (CMU) would open up greater access to comparable environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, according to the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).
The establishment of a continental single access point was part of the European Commission's High-Level Forum's final report on the CMU released today (10 June).
The report outlined a series of 17 interconnected measures the European Union (EU) needed to urgently implement to remove the biggest barriers in capital markets.
One of the recommendations was to establish an EU Single Access Point to enable central access to financial and non-financial public corporate disclosures under existing EU disclosure rules.
It would provide a single place for financial and sustainability-related information, which is currently scattered across the EU.
EFAMA backed the move, saying insufficient availability of comparable and reliable ESG data "remains a key challenge" in the development of sustainable finance and gaps were currently stifling market potential.
EFAMA said the report's recommendation echoed calls from a consortium of trade associations across the continent.
A joint letter (sent on 9 June) from six organisations, including the European Banking Federation, EFAMA and Pensions Europe, called for EU action to create a centralised register for ESG data in the union.
It said: "Robust, comparable and reliable ESG data is also key to identify and assess sustainability risks in lending activities.
"In addition, availability of ESG data is also necessary to enable financial institutions and investors to steer their portfolios towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement and of the European Green Deal much more efficiently and on a much broader scale.
"Unfortunately, the availability of quality, comparable, reliable and public ESG data is currently rather limited and insufficient to comply with the increasing expectations and new regulatory requirements due to apply shortly."