EU may "recalibrate" climate-friendly investment guide

by Reuters
Monday, 25 January 2021 17:09 GMT

EU Commissioner Financial Services, Stability and the Capital Markets Union Mairead McGuinness speaks at a news conference on the fostering the openness, strength and resilience of Europe's economic and financial system in Brussels, Belgium January 19, 2021 at the European Union headquarters. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS

Image Caption and Rights Information

The EU Commission may change its guide for people that want to invest in climate-friendly assets after a huge public response

By Huw Jones

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The European Commission may recalibrate its planned "taxonomy" or guide for people that want to invest in climate-friendly assets after a huge public response, its financial services chief said on Monday.

Mairead McGuinness said the EU executive has received 46,000 replies to a public consultation on its template for fleshing out a law on taxonomy that it due to come into practical effect in 2022.

It sets out a system for classifying what activities may and many not be deemed to be sustainable in climate terms to help the shift to a low carbon economy.

"It would be useful to take a step back and to look at what the taxonomy is, and what it is not," McGuinness told the European Parliament.

"It's not a mandatory list of activities that investors have to invest in," she added.

The first batch of measures to implement the taxonomy needs to be delayed given that it goes further than some existing legislation and EU policy, she said.

She said 98% of the responses to the public consultation were from citizens asking the European Commission not to break the taxonomy's alignment with the EU's Green Deal targets for cutting carbon emissions.

"The Commission will consider recalibrating the technical screening criteria where serious concerns are raised, but we don't want to break the link with science or the alignment with Green Deal targets," McGuinness said.

The Commission has asked the Sustainable Finance platform for further input on how the taxonomy could help business with their transition to lower carbon emissions, she said.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by David Gregorio and Angus MacSwan)