Europe and Central Asia
2 Apr 2021

BirdLife threatens to walk out from Taxonomy Platform on Sustainable Finance

© Michael Weir / Unsplash
By Honey Kohan

Right now, the European Commission is working towards finalising its sustainable finance taxonomy, a landmark regulation that from next year will define what can be labelled as a sustainable investment in the EU. BirdLife Europe is a member of the European Commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance sharing expertise on what this regulation should look like. However, the taxonomy that was supposed to be the gold standard to prevent greewashing is now in deep risk of becoming the greenwashing tool. 

Alongside scientists and other environmental groups, BirdLife Europe has in an open letter to the European Commission expressed deep concerns about the greenwash-enabling path the taxonomy risks heading down with its labelling system for sustainable investments. 

The signatories of the open letter state: "Should politics and lobbying prevail over science, it is our responsibility to inform you that we would be forced to reconsider our contribution to the Platform." The letter comes as a response to the draft climate Taxonomy Delegated Act leaked last week. which breaches the Taxonomy Regulation, notably on its criteria for forestry, bioenergy and fossil gas which are in direct contradiction with climate science.

Put simply, the draft Taxonomy Regulation would label activities that cause significant harm to the climate as ‘sustainable’. Should it go ahead with its current proposal, the taxonomy will undermine the EU’s Green Deal, which sets out to make the EU a frontrunner in the climate fight. It would be even more harmful to investors than presently, as they would reasonably expect the taxonomy to have set high sustainability standards and could mislead them into making unsustainable investments. It would also penalise sectors making real efforts to comply with the Paris Agreement.

We are urgently calling for fossil gas to be removed from the Taxonomy. Similarly, the criteria that classify forestry and bioenergy as “significantly contributing to climate mitigation” have no scientific basis.

The open letter can be read here



Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.