Today the EU Commission’s technical expert group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance published its final report on the classification of sustainable investments (taxonomy). The TEG confirms the exclusion of nuclear power from sustainable financial products on the basis of so-called ‘do-no-harm’ requirements. These are designed to ensure that an activity that contributes to one sustainability objective does not at the same time come at the detriment of other objectives. The framework for the taxonomy is provided by the Taxonomy Regulation already adopted by the Council and the European Parliament. On the basis of the expert report, the European Commission is now set to propose the exact definition of sustainable activities with reference to threshold values for the economic sectors covered by the taxonomy in delegated acts. A three-month non-objection period for the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will then begin, after which the taxonomy will be fully applicable. The Regulation is to apply from the beginning of 2021. Sustainable sectors in the sense of the taxonomy are areas such as sustainable energy generation and storage, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility.
Today the Commission also published a report by the TEG on the planned EU standard for green bonds. The Commission will use an upcoming public consultation on sustainable financing to consider a possible initiative for an EU green bond standard.
The EU Commission is set to come up with a second action plan on sustainable finance. A consultation on this will be launched soon. The new action plan is expected to include a consumer label for sustainable financial products, the revision of the Non Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and a proposal for the inclusion of sustainability in the EU prudential framework.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The exclusion of nuclear power from green financial products is a positive signal for sustainable investments. This creates confidence for investors considering environmental protection when making investments. Contrary to widespread fears, the co-legislators’ text of the taxonomy regulation does not open a back door for nuclear power. Nuclear power produces non-recyclable, environmentally harmful waste and therefore does not meet the ‘do-no-harm’ requirements. With the expert group’s proposal, Europe is on course for a strong green classification of sustainable investments that puts a stop to greenwashing. The Commission should closely follow the expert group’s recommendations and soon come forward with delegated acts that clearly exclude nuclear power and other environmentally harmful activities from the definition of sustainability.”
Final report of the technical expert group: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/business_economy_euro/banking_and_finance/documents/200309-sustainable-finance-teg-final-report-taxonomy_en.pdf