Europe and Central Asia
9 Jun 2021

BirdLife and 90+ NGOs call on MEPs to halt approval of ‘green’ finance list

© BirdLife Europe / Shutterstock
By Honey Kohan

Over 90 environmental and consumer groups have today appealed to the European Parliament to postpone their judgement on sustainable finance rules that would allow logging and the burning of trees to be counted as green investments.

In an open letter, organisations including BirdLife Europe, WWF, Greenpeace, and BEUC call on the 705 MEPs to suspend scrutiny of the EU Commission’s ‘Taxonomy of sustainable investments’ until other crucial policies and pieces of legislation - the Renewable Energy Directive and the EU Forest Strategy, in particular - are disclosed later this year. 

The European Commission’s ‘Delegated Act’ greenwashes unsustainable logging and bioenergy by stating that forestry (logging trees) and bioenergy (burning trees and crops for energy) make a “significant contribution to climate mitigation” and do “no significant harm” to biodiversity.

As many criteria in the EU Taxonomy are linked to existing legislation on forestry and bioenergy, the NGOs urge MEPs to use upcoming reviews of these policies and laws to strengthen the laws’ provisions, align them with climate science, and restore the Taxonomy’s scientific credibility.

BirdLife maintains its position that the Delegated Act published by the Commission [1] contains grave mistakes and is not fit for purpose. BirdLife will continue to call on the European Parliament and the Council to reject the Delegated Act so the Commission can correct these mistakes and adopt an Act that only labels activities actually good for the environment as such.

Notes:

[1] The EU’s Taxonomy Regulation came into force in July 2020. The Delegated Act presented details on how authorities and the market can comply with the Regulation, by setting out which economic activities and sectors can be classed as ‘sustainable’. The Delegated Act is now subject to approval by the European Parliament and Council.

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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.