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A week after 100,000 people said they wanted the EU’s proposed ‘taxonomy’ law to ban greenwashing across the whole finance industry, negotiations between MEPs, EU governments and the European Commission broke up this evening. National officials had tried to include so-called ‘transition’ businesses that are not currently green, as well as sectors which ‘enable’ green technologies, such as the production of steel for train tracks.
The Commission also proposed a ‘get out of jail free card’ for the financial sector: asset managers and others would be allowed, under the draft law, to continue marketing their product as ‘green’ provided they specify they don’t use the EU methodology, thus undermining the sole purpose of the taxonomy.
But, by standing firm, MEPs are defending the stated aim of the proposed regulation, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said. By setting out what investments are truly green, the EU can encourage the substantial private investments needed for the transition towards a ‘net-zero’ economy compliant with the Paris agreement.
Samuel Kenny, sustainable finance manager at T&E, said: “People just want to know that how they invest their money isn’t harming the planet. Yet their governments are doing the bidding of powerful industries and stretching the definition of green to grotesque lengths. MEPs must continue to resist this massive Trojan horse that will open up at night and let all sorts of polluters out. The green deal needs to start here, so the Commission shouldn’t side with those that want to lower the standards of the new regulation.”
Negotiations are set to resume on November 27 though an agreement before 2020 is now looking less likely.
A large coalition of NGOs, including T&E, are working to salvage this landmark piece of legislation. The group launched a petition which was signed by nearly 100,000 people in less than a week.