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European ESG Assets Shrank by $2 Trillion After Greenwash Rules

  • EU leads effort on measuring business impact of climate change
  • Sustainable investments expanded to $17 trillion in U.S.
Onshore wind turbines in Sviland, Norway, on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. Wind power could be a vital part of Norway's plan to slash pollution, but many voters have had enough of the machines that stand as tall as skyscrapers.
Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

The European market for sustainable investments contracted by $2 trillion between 2018 and 2020 following the introduction of anti-greenwashing rules, according to data from the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.

Sustainable investment assets fell to $12 trillion in Europe during 2020 from $14 trillion in 2018, the report states. The decline isn’t the result of dampened investor enthusiasm for ESG investments, it’s because policy makers have tightened the parameters for what can be considered a responsible investment, said Simon O’Connor, chair of the GSIA.