ESG – Exposing Speculative Greenwashing

Grantee: Voxeurop SCE (France) / Partners: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (United Kingdom); Investigative Reporting Project Italy (Italy) / Grant: €78,900
  • Priority Area Boosting Fact-checking Activities in Europe
  • Funding Round / Action Types 6th Funding Round – Scale-up Projects
  • Year 2024
  • Country France
  • Project Status Ongoing

This project will address critical issues surrounding green finance, with a particular focus on the misrepresentation and lack of true sustainability in investment products. With the public showing great interest in green finance, the project aims to investigate and correct the prevalence of misleading ‘ESG’ products.
Preliminary research will show that products claiming to take environmental or social factors into account are often mislabelled as ‘green bonds’ or ‘sustainable investments’. The project will take advantage of the new European regulatory framework for green finance to prevent misrepresentation. However, it recognises that banks and asset managers can manipulate semantics and misleadingly use EU green labels to present their products as greener than they are. In particular, the project will highlight how carbon emitters, including oil companies, are exploiting loose market-based voluntary standards to certify their polluting activities as green, thereby securing capital for environmentally damaging projects through financial institutions.
It will also highlight the alarming trend of companies contributing to deforestation in developing countries raising capital in Europe thanks to inflated green ratings. Non-binding EU requirements will be scrutinised for their contribution to these divergences from a robust green finance system. The project aims to expose these loopholes, advocate for stronger regulation and promote transparency in the green finance sector. It will use methods including in-depth research, analysis of regulatory frameworks and awareness raising through media channels. The ultimate goal will be to create a more reliable green finance system, ensuring that investments truly contribute to environmental and social well-being.

Updated on 15 march 2024

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