France’s proposed Say on Climate amendment struck down

October 12, 2023|Written by Moriah Costa

The Say on Climate amendment was struck from France’s green industry bill and did not make it to the final vote on the wider bill that was voted into law by the French Senate on Wednesday.

The amendment would have required companies to disclose climate plans to shareholders every three years and require annual shareholder approval. While the plans would have been mandatory, they would have been non-binding, allowing companies to set their own strategies for climate transition and decarbonisation plans.

The amendment was struck out before a joint committee vote following pressure by lobby groups including the French Association of Large Companies, said advocacy group Reclaim Finance. The amendment was adopted as part of the wider green industry bill in late July after being initially rejected.

One of the main arguments against the amendment was that it would impose additional requirements on companies in light of the wider EU’s corporate sustainability reporting directive (CSRD) which opponents said will be more effective. However, the amendment would have related to a report that is already required by the CSRD and would have been a “minimal but useful step to support investors”, said Antoine Laurent, advocacy lead at Reclaim Finance.

“Its removal from the text clearly illustrates the government’s lack of political will to move forward on sustainable finance,” he added.

The group has called on French assembly members to continue efforts to ensure a Say on Climate measure becomes mandatory to prevent greenwashing from companies.

France was the first country to propose requiring companies to disclose their climate plans to shareholders. Interest in sustainable investments has increased in recent years among French citizens, especially those under 35, a recent study found. The study signals that more investors in the country could be willing to put private money towards financing the green transition.

Compared to other G20 countries, France has made more progress on tackling climate change. France received the best score in Green Central Banking’s scorecard last year, with a ranking of B-.

This page was last updated October 12, 2023

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