The Market Advisory Council (MAC) delivered recommendations to the European Commission on the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities and Draft Technical Screening Criteria for Fishing Activities. The EU taxonomy is a classification system that establishes a list of environmentally sustainable activities, translating the EU’s climate and environmental objectives into criteria for investment purposes. An expert group, the Platform on Sustainable Financing, was established to advise on the further development of the initiative which the Commission considers when drafting Delegated Acts. Last year, the experts published preliminary draft technical screening criteria, including for fishing activities. A delegated act on technical screening criteria for fishing activities is expected to be published in Autumn 2022.
According to MAC members:
- Awareness, among fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders, on the development and impacts must be raised, plus representativeness of the operators and other stakeholders must be promoted and supported in the composition and work of the expert group.
- Policy coherence is needed with other EU policy initiatives affecting the concept of environmental sustainability (revision of the marketing standards framework, sustainable food system framework, substantiation of green claims, due diligence, and empowerment of consumers for the green transition).
- Clarification is needed on the process to be followed by financial institutions, including required expertise, transparency, scrutiny of the conclusions, and potential verification by independent third parties.
- Cooperation between the finance and maritime policy services of the Commission, including through analysis of potential impacts on the ability of operators to raise financing / attract funds for their activities, should take place.
Pierre Commère, Chair of Working Group 2 (EU Markets), commented: “The EU taxonomy can be a positive opportunity to prevent “greenwashing” by financial institutions. To ensure the trust of operators, the process must be led in a transparent and participated manner, while keeping in mind the high ambitions for environmental sustainability”.
Full advice is available here.