12 September 2019

Let’s keep fossil fuels out of green investments!

Last June, the European Commission Technical Expert Group (TEG) published the first draft of the Taxonomy Technical Report, a classification of economic activities that could be claimed as environmentally sustainable. Even though in includes ambitious criteria for certain activities, we have serious concerns about the presence of dirty fossil fuels and the lack of fundamental sustainability requirements for other proposed activities.

The TEG’s EU taxonomy is essential to channel funds that substantially contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation goals, while not significantly causing harm to the environment. However, the main risks are the inclusion of unsustainable activities meeting the mere CO2 emissions reduction criteria in spite of being harmful to the environment, as well as the enabling of green claims on investments which would have happened even without the taxonomy as incentive. These risks would not only undermine the credibility of such a voluntary and comprehesive tool, but also allow unsustainable investments to be claimed as “green”.

Our position paper, released today, calls for the exclusion of all fossil-generated hydrogen, electricity and heat from the EU taxonomy. This will allow the focus to remain on the many existing safe, efficient and economically viable ways to produce fully decarbonized electricity and heat from renewables.

This classification is not yet final: parts of the document of the Technical Expert Group will be open for feedback until 13 September, before the TEG adopts its final report in December.

If you share our concerns and wish to participate in the consultation, feel free to echo our recommendations in your response. If you need more support, please get in touch with Mathilde Crêpy (mathilde.crepy@ecostandard.org) or Rita Tedesco (rita.tedesco@ecostandard.org). This is a unique opportunity for civil society organisations to shape the future of sustainable finance and raise the level of ambition!

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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