This week, the European Commission will adopt its latest version of the first set of EU Taxonomy criteria that will define which economic activities can be labelled as sustainable from now on.
Despite the numerous calls coming from the energy and transport industries, which were echoed by a large group of Members of the European Parliament as well as Member States (see letters here and here), the latest draft of the delegated acts still fail to embrace the decarbonisation potential of mature technologies, such as biomethane in road transport.
Continuing our joint work with 13 like-minded European associations representing the energy and transport sectors, NGVA Europe has co-signed a statement, addressing the European Commission on the following key elements:
- Set evidence-based and transparent criteria
Given the expected major impact of the Taxonomy on the European economy, the choice of technical screening criteria in the Annexes of the Delegated Act must be transparent in terms of rationale, modelling and scientific references used. This transparency will also facilitate constructive dialogue in the coming years as the EU and stakeholders work on updating the criteria.
- Account for all future energy system needs through realistic thresholds and deadlines
To enable investments in innovation, infrastructure and technological solutions that accelerate a cost-effective and gradual path to carbon neutrality by 2050, ambitious but realistic and pragmatic criteria for the transition are needed.
- Ensure a level playing field for all fuels and technologies that are already available to decarbonise all sectors of the economy
The latest proposal of the Delegated Act risks distorting competition and forcing the market towards a limited set of low and zero emissions solutions only. The Taxonomy has to establish a real level playing field among existing clean technologies. The criteria should therefore set thresholds based on a life cycle emissions methodology, particularly in the categories addressing transport.
NGVA Europe believes that the integration of these elements are crucial for the EU Taxonomy to meet its objective, which is to accelerate investments towards activities that can greatly contribute to decarbonise our economy. This is therefore the last chance for the European Commission to amend the draft criteria accordingly in order to make the Taxonomy truly fit for purpose.
The joint statement is available here: Taxonomy Coalition Letter (April 2021)
- The European Commission is expected to publish the final version of the delegated acts by the end of the month. From then on, the European Parliament and the European Council will have a scrutiny period of 6 months in order to adopt or reject the texts, without the possibility of modifying its content.
- The European Commission will now start working on preparing the delegated for the next set of Taxonomy activities, including circular economy and activities linked to natural gas and nuclear.