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EU green finance rules at risk of deviating from science

(EurActiv, 25 Nov 2020) Some of the draft emission thresholds contained in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy are not aligned with climate neutrality and deviate from scientific evidence, raising concerns about political and industry pressure, write Tsvetelina Kuzmanova and Sara Dethier.

On Friday, 20 November the European Commission published the Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation under the Taxonomy Regulation. This will now go through a four-week public consultation before adoption by the European Parliament and Council of the EU.

The draft raises concerns that some of the thresholds deviate from scientific evidence as a result of political and industry pressure. The Commission must ensure that the economic activities that make the list, together with their respective thresholds, are governed independently of political considerations to preserve the value and credibility of the taxonomy.

The taxonomy is growing in relevance

The EU taxonomy is a science-based tool for defining which activities are classed as ‘sustainable’ in terms of environmental and social impact. Its purpose is to set the ‘gold standard’ for identifying genuinely environmentally sustainable activities, helping to avoid greenwashing and increasing the flow of sustainable financing.

Tsvetelina Kuzmanova is a policy advisor working on sustainable finance at E3G, a climate think tank. Sara Dethier is a researcher at E3G’s Brussels office.

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EurActiv, 25 Nov 2020: EU green finance rules at risk of deviating from science