EU taxonomy under fire

A group of 123 scientists, led by Andreas Hoepner and Joeri Rogelj have written an open letter to the EU President following a first draft criteria for the EU sustainable finance taxonomy, attempting to classifying investments that can be marketed as sustainable.

Hoepner, a professor at University College Dublin, and Rogelj, a climate scientist at Imperial College London, signed the letter on behalf of the group, as the EU seeks feedback on its proposal before the end of the year.

The letter argues that the EU proposal is not compatible with the EU’s target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, calling it “disconnected”.

Whilst being firmly in favour of such a system, the letter states that there is a “critical oversight in the European Commission’s legislative process: The thresholds that define the Greenness of activities underlying the European Green Deal, the so called ‘EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities’, have been disconnected from the European Union’s own objective of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 against the explicit advice of the relevant EU expert group”.

In particular, the group is concerned that the criteria that defines under which conditions energy generation options can be considered ‘green’, allowing gas power plants to be labelled as sustainable if they meet an emissions limit of 100 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour, which the signatories believe is too hight and incompatible with the net-zero objectives, calling instead for a threshold that is reduced over time to zero. No such mechanism exists in the draft.

Full letter.

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