Brussels postponed green finance rules after 10 EU states wielded veto

(EurActiv, 18 Jan 2021) The European Commission was forced to delay publication of detailed implementing rules on the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy because of the sheer number of comments received and a threat of blockage from eastern and southern EU member states, EURACTIV can reveal.

The EU executive published the draft implementing rules on 20 November, touting the proposal as “the world’s first-ever ‘green-list’” of economic activities aimed at encouraging private investments in the green economy.

A public consultation on the draft rules – known as delegated acts – closed on 18 December with more than 46,591 answers received and thousands of pages of feedback. As a result, the final proposal, initially due to be published by 1 January, was delayed with no clear indication of when it will come out.

“Colleagues are currently assessing the volume and nature of this feedback,” said Daniel Sheridan Ferrie, the European Commission’s spokesperson for banking, financial services, taxation and customs.

“The aim is to adopt the delegated act as soon as possible given the high number of replies,” he told EURACTIV in emailed comments, refusing to give further detail as to the expected publication date.

The guidelines are aimed at steering private investors towards environmentally sustainable companies, by laying down detailed emissions thresholds defining which economic activity can be considered “sustainable”. Other categories in the taxonomy include “transition” and “enabling” economic activities.

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EurActiv, 18 Jan 2021: Brussels postponed green finance rules after 10 EU states wielded veto