Sustainable finance taxonomy - climate change

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advies EESC: Sustainable finance taxonomy - climate change

Key points:

The EESC

  • underscores the potential key role of the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Delegated Regulation in creating a clear, coherent and comprehensive framework to highlight the ambitious development of a greener economy without lock-in effects, with technical criteria that clearly define the green investments that directly contribute to Europe's climate objectives and on which the practices of the business sectors concerned and the financial sector can be aligned;
  • finds it essential that efficient, easily applicable, innovative and productive tools are used, to bring about rapid and readable results, and prevent "greenwashing";
  • underscores the importance of a clear and precise definition of the technical criteria set out in the delegated regulation that meet the ambition of a low-carbon economy for Europe, and that are reasonable, realistic and acceptable, in order to obtain the commitment of stakeholders. This is essential to the success of this essentially voluntary system; 
  • is of the opinion that economic activities and projects defined as "sustainable" in the Delegated Regulation must be attractive to investors in the real economy. Setting a high level of ambition also raises the question of wider recognition of transitional solutions as a green path to smooth transition;
  • takes note of the concerns of real economy actors regarding the negative effects of the Delegated Regulation on financing possibilities and costs;
  • also points out the risk of too high costs in implementing the taxonomy criteria as provided in the Delegated Regulation, especially for SMEs. That’s why the EESC stresses the need to develop green insurance for SMEs to reduce this cost risk;
  • notes, that the taxonomy currently sets environmental standards that are often more ambitious than those of EU sectoral legislation;
  • agrees that a high ambition is needed, but would nevertheless for practical reasons and to avoid confusion recommend applying the highest environmental standards set in level 1 EU legislation to the taxonomy;
  • questions whether the Delegated Regulation in its present form, in spite of its laudable objective, is fit for purpose;
  • strongly recommends the Commission to make proposals to heighten the standards of EU environmental legislation.