Silke Bernard: We want to avoid uncertainty on ESG topics
With two long-awaited regulatory frameworks–the AIFMD and Eltif–close to agreement at the end of 2022, Silke Bernard, partner at Linklaters, is optimistic about the future of Luxembourg in alternative investment.
However, never one to rest on her laurels, she believes the next big regulatory opportunity is ESG.
“To me the critical point is to have clear interpretation and communication,” she said. “What we want to avoid is uncertainty on ESG topics–there are too many positions, too many FAQs, briefings and guidance that diverge and sometimes even contradict each other.”
It is important to address greenwashing. “We clearly need a reliable definition of greenwashing,” said Bernard. “With the new ESG landscape there are new markets opening up, hydrogen funds are developing, we see more energy transition funds, we see opportunities in blended finance–totally new markets that will benefit from a clear and certain ESG regime.”
According to Bernard, this can happen in 2023. “If Luxembourg provides legal certainty and if it can find an aligned interpretation on concepts, it could really make itself a centre of expertise for the structuring and domiciliation of ESG funds in 2023.”
She likens it to dust in the air. “We need the dust to settle. When there’s too much dust, you can’t see anything.”