Preliminary recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy
On 3rd August 2021, the European Commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance published its preliminary recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy with a focus on circularity, pollution, biodiversity and water, in the form of a Report and Annex. The Platform gathered feedback from stakeholders until 24 September, with the objective to collect further evidence and inputs on the proposed draft recommendations.
The Platform on Sustainable Finance’s Report and Annex include recommendations to expand and apply green investment criteria to cover the circular economy, pollution prevention and control, the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, and the sustainable use of water. The report also spells out progress on selecting criteria for sectors that were not detailed in the initial delegated act on climate adaptation and mitigation (including the manufacturing of packaging, recycling and waste management activities, etc.).
The report, once final, will feed into the Commission’s delegated act to be published late 2021-early 2022. In a nutshell, it proposes a set of criteria for an economic activity to be considered sustainable under the EU Taxonomy framework.
EUROPEN looked at the technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy. The European Commission’s work on sustainable finance will also be key for the packaging industry as the report addresses the manufacturing of plastic packaging goods, of food products and beverages (with specific criteria about design for recycling, reuse, recyclability and recycled content), of chemicals and chemicals products, etc. It is therefore essential that the definitions and core criteria developed in the frame of the Taxonomy are specific, clear and aligned with the existing EU sectorial legislation to avoid any ambiguity for stakeholders and ensure harmonised and effective implementation across the EU.
It is also crucial to ensure that technical screening criteria are aligned with upcoming policy developments to avoid regulatory discrepancies and confusion for industry, consumers, and investors. For packaging-related , this means ensuring alignment between the EU Taxonomy criteria and the regulatory requirements set in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), which are currently being revised. Furthermore, to prevent any ambiguities and inconsistencies between the PPWD review and the EU Taxonomy and ensure targets are properly impact assessed, the key principles of packaging sustainability should be primarily defined in the main piece of EU legislation, i.e. the PPWD, while other policy initiatives, including the EU Taxonomy, should be fully aligned with it.
The purpose of the Taxonomy is to establish a harmonized framework defining which economic activities are to be considered sustainable in order to tackle greenwashing in financial products and leverage private financing for the green transition. Although the technical screening criteria do not aim to establish obligations for the industry (aside from reporting obligations), they will define access to financing and funding opportunities.
The Platform on Sustainable Finance is a permanent expert group of the European Commission (established under Article 20 of the Taxonomy Regulation), assisting the Commission in developing its sustainable finance policies, notably the further development of the EU taxonomy.
WHAT DID YOU MISS?
- 03 August 2021: The Platform for Sustainable Finance published a draft report on recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy.
- From 03 August to 24 September 2021: Call for stakeholder feedback on the draft report on recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy.
- November 2021: The Platform for Sustainable Finance will present its final report to the European Commission.
- End 2021 / Early 2022: Publication of the Commission’s delegated act.
EUROPEN members: Do not hesitate to visit the dedicated members’ area of our website here to know more about our work on the EU Taxonomy.