SAFE Policy Lecture: Christian Thimann
Title: A Primer on “Sustainable Finance” – What It Means and What Changes It Could Entail for EU Financial Regulation and Policy
Speaker: Christian Thimann, Group Head of Regulation, Sustainability and Insurance Foresight, AXA Group, Paris, Professor of Economics, Paris School of Economics
Moderator: Hans-Helmut Kotz, SAFE and Harvard University
A new concept is taking hold in regulatory and financial policy circles – sustainable finance. The European Commission has established a high-level expert group on this subject, tasked to develop recommendations by the end of 2017. The objective is to hardwire sustainability into the EU’s regulatory and financial policy framework. Finance should be a means, actively contributing to economic, social and environmental sustainability as well as fostering a long-term orientation. The topic has recently become even more relevant due to the Paris climate agreement and the EU’s commitment towards a low-carbon economy. This is clearly a very long-term objective, requiring a significant reorientation of capital flows as well as the stronger integration of environmental, social and governance features into financial decision-making and capital allocation. The policy lecture will give an overview of the current state of debates and touch upon possible implications for financial regulation and financial policy. It also serves to solicit feedback because the work at EU level is still ongoing, and comments from stakeholders in academia and finance are most welcome.
Christian Thimann is Group Head of Regulation, Sustainability and Insurance Foresight with AXA Group, Paris. He also teaches at the Paris School of Economics. Dr. Thimann is particularly engaged in sustainable finance: He is Chairman of the EU Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and Vice Chair of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Before joining AXA in 2014, Dr. Thimann held a number of positions at the ECB, ultimately, between 2008 and 2013, as Director General and Advisor to the President. Prior to that, between 1995 and 1998, he worked with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. Thimann holds a PhD from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, and he graduated in Economics at the London School of Economics.