Environmental Taxonomy: CSOs fear more greenwashing

Environmental experts urge substantial improvements to the controversial EU Taxonomy Act to ensure science-based criteria and preserve environmental integrity.

A coalition of civil society organisations urges the European Commission not to allow further greenwashing of the EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance, the EU’s flagship green investment guidebook. The group includes the European Environmental Bureau WWF, Transport & Environment, Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), Chemsec, Birdlife, Climate Strategy & Partners, Climate & Company, Zero Waste Europe, Reclaim Finance, Germanwatch e.V., and E3G, among others. 

The European Commission conducted a public consultation on a new text, known as the Environmental Taxonomy, which proposes new sets of criteria to classify activities as sustainable on the basis of their contribution to the transition to the circular economy, protection of biodiversity, marine and freshwater ecosystems, and pollution prevention. The coalition of CSOs responded to this public consultation with a detailed analysis of the Commission’s criteria. This analysis seeks to defend and support the robust science-based recommendations prepared by the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, the Commission’s expert group,  in the previous years.  

Marco Musso, Policy Officer on Fiscal Reform for Circular Economy and Carbon Neutrality at the EEB said:

“Finally we see the EU Taxonomy addressing key pending environmental issues, such as the transition to the circular economy. Yet several crucial economic activities, for which robust and science-based criteria had been proposed by the expert group, were excluded from the draft acts. This decision was not made transparently and no justification was provided by the Commission. 

It’s imperative for the credibility of the EU green agenda, that its list of sustainable investments is built on science-based recommendations” 

The coalition has identified three major areas of concern on the Commission’s draft text:  

  • It is based on unscientific criteria, which would give a green label to unsustainable activities such as the production of single-use plastics packaging, fossil-powered ships, aviation, and biodiversity offsets. 
  • There are critical activities left out of the text, such as the manufacture of chemicals, food and beverages, and forestry1  
  • It weakens key criteria on pollution, which would allow us to protect human health and the environment 

We urge the European Commission to follow the science by listening to the recommendations of its own expert group, the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, and to not further damage the credibility of the EU Taxonomy by including greenwashed criteria. 

 

Notes to editors

Read the full feedback submitted by the European Environmental Bureau on the EU Taxonomy draft Delegated Acts.

A joint NGO analysis o recommendations on EU taxonomy can be found here.

For more information, contact press@eeb.org.

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