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

Posted on 09 June 2021

More than 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 a public letter, groups such as WWF, Transport & Environment (T&E), 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. 

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 thus restore the Taxonomy’s scientific credibility.

Henry Eviston, sustainable finance policy officer at WWF European Policy Office, said:
'Finland and Sweden led the dismantling of the Taxonomy's criteria on forestry and bioenergy, and MEPs must start fixing them in July, when the Commission publishes new proposals on the EU Forest Strategy and the Renewable Energy Directive. This is a critical opportunity to get things right in these sectors and to fix the taxonomy criteria, too.' 
The Taxonomy Regulation determines which economic activities can be labelled as environmentally sustainable. The regulation stipulates that this classification must be based on conclusive scientific evidence. 

The Taxonomy rules were published in the form of a delegated act. The European Parliament and Council will now have four months to reject the proposal. If neither institution holds a vote or demands an extension of the deliberation period, the Taxonomy will be considered to have been approved.

Ines Abbas
Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
Altja river is essential as spawning place for trout and salmon. Most of Northern Estonia rivers are rivulets hidden in lush forests. Although Altja river is in Lahemaa National Park, it is not yet protected and forest could be cut any day. Estonia