EU Sustainable Finance Rulebook breakthrough for investments in climate goals
Brussels, 20 December 2019: A few days ago the EU Council, Parliament and Commission reached an agreement on a sustainable finance rulebook for investments supporting the climate goals. Ecopreneur.eu welcomes the adopted regulation that will support green investments without adding red tape for green SMEs.
Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, welcomes the new EU Sustainable Finance Rulebook (“taxonomy”) to support green investments. It is set to allocate much more assets to financing climate solutions, avoid greenwashing and increase the transparency of financial markets. It is an important step forward, all the more because lacking transparency and access to finance are two out of the three major hurdles to the circular economy. The regulation still has to be formally adopted and supplied with implementation documents. It is scheduled to get into effect as of 2021.
Manfred Mühlberger, Chairman of Ecopreneur.eu, explains that “we especially appreciate the full scope of actors who have to use the rulebook. All those who offer financial products as well as large listed corporates have to apply it in one of four categories of activities: sustainable, enabling, transition, or other.” For “other” activities, actors have the option to voluntarily apply the rulebook criteria, or publish a disclaimer. Director Arthur ten Wolde adds: “Ecopreneur.eu provided input for the rulebook as a member of the Technical Expert Group (TEG). Also, we recently warned for the risk of additional red tape for green SMEs. This risk has fortunately been averted in the final version.” While happy with the outcome, there is also considerable room for improvements, including:
- an obligation for companies with “other” activities to apply the rulebook;
- a list of unsustainable activities that are excluded from external finance (a “brown” rulebook next to this green one);
- full inclusion of the circular economy and social impact to cover sustainability.
Ecopreneur.eu plans to keep an eye on the draft implementation documents in 2020.