The reports on the EU Taxonomy and the EU Green Bond Standard were published on 9 March 2020. Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance contributed to the Taxonomy Working Group since June 2018 as co-chair of the ‘do no significant harm’ technical criteria.
The final report of the Technical Expert Group (TEG) contains recommendations relating to the overarching design of the Taxonomy, as well as guidance on how companies and financial institutions can make disclosures using the taxonomy. The report is supplemented by a technical containing an updated list of technical screening criteria for economic activities that can substantially contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation, including an assessment of significant harm to other environmental objectives.
The Commission will use this report as a basis to develop rules setting out the EU’s classification of green activities for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People said:
“Sustainable finance will be essential to mobilise much-needed financing to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. These reports by the Technical Expert Group are welcome as they provide excellent input for us to develop our final standards on climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. They will also help us establish EU green bond standards as part of broader measures to spur the take-up of sustainable finance in Europe.”
The Commission will adopt the classifications for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation in the form of Delegated Acts by the end of 2020, as set out in the Taxonomy Regulation.
The Usability guide for the Green Bond Standard offers market actors guidance on the use of the proposed standard and the set-up of a market-based registration scheme for external verifiers. The European Commission will explore the possibility of a legislative initiative for an EU Green Bond Standard in the context of the public consultation on the renewed sustainable finance strategy, taking place from March to May 2020.