IEEP's response to the public consultation on draft sustainability criteria

Today IEEP responded to the public consultation on the draft sustainability criteria for the sustainable finance taxonomy. In the call for feedback, the Platform on Sustainable Finance is gathering evidence to strengthen the final recommendations to the European Union.

In August, the Platform on Sustainable Finance has released its draft report outlining new technical screening criteria for all six of the environmental objectives of the Taxonomy Regulation.
IEEP is a member of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, and Ben Allen is the co-rapporteur on the technical working group that has been preparing the criteria, with Nora Hiller supporting IEEP’s work in this area. As a result, IEEP's response to the consultation has focused solely on the importance of transparency in the development of criteria and the scientific evidence base that supports the final recommendations. The criteria in the EU Taxonomy (established to encourage sustainable investments for activities that are essential to achieving the European Green Deal objectives) will change the way private finance orientates towards sustainability and to deliver for society – and as such society have the right to understand how those decisions have been made.

IEEP’s response is as follows:

IEEP welcomes the proposals on technical screening criteria for the Taxo 4 objectives. The evidence and rationale for the criteria is well set out. Clear scientific evidence is a fundamental part of an independent process for determining how economic activities can make a substantial contribution and do no significant harm to the various environmental objectives.

Whilst we recognise the necessary accounting of the political realities in policy making, the decision-making process must be transparent and the reasons for decisions taken, such as changes to criteria, need to be clear and supported be evidence. This helps the engagement and understanding of society in a process that is often opaque. Our recommendations for how to improve the science-policy interface and improve the transparency of policy decision-making is provided in the accompanying document (Strengthening the science-policy interface).

The call for feedback closes on 24 September 2021. Until this date, you can provide feedback on the overall report and the criteria to strengthen the Platform on Sustainable Finance’s recommendations for the final report to the Commission, due later this year.

Photo © Karsten Würth on Unsplash