NGOs Exit EU Expert Taxonomy Group

Five environmental and consumer NGOs have announced their decision to leave the EU’s Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF), citing a lack of independence. BEUC, Birdlife, ECOS, T&E and WWF said that the European Commission “interfered politically” in the group, acting against the PSF’s recommendations, despite its legal obligation to follow science-based advice. In particular, the exiting NGOs challenged the Commission’s decision to include gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy – a decision later agreed by EU governments and the European Parliament. Sebastien Godinot, Senior Economist at the WWF European Policy Office, said: “European governments and lobbies have undermined the EU Taxonomy’s credibility, and the Commission has folded in front of them. We no longer believe this Commission will allow the Platform to work independently and with integrity, so we cannot be part of this process any longer.” The Commission appointed the PSF group to develop the technical recommendations for the environmental taxonomy; the group has also submitted proposals for transition and social taxonomies. A Commission spokesperson told ESG Investor: “The European Commission recognises the work of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, and its members, in supporting the Commission to develop the EU’s Sustainable Finance Framework, and the EU Taxonomy in particular. We take note that some members of the Platform have decided to step down from their position.” 

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