EFRAG’s consulting on the due process for EU sustainability reporting standard-setting
EFRAG is requested to provide technical advice to the European Commission (EC) in the form of draft standards and/or draft amendments to EU Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive proposal includes a provision for ESRS to be mandated in the EU.
In parallel, EFRAG should be prepared with proper due process, public oversight and transparency, the expertise of relevant stakeholders, and accompanied by cost-benefit analyses.
Therefore, EFRAG is consulting on its proposed Due Process Procedures which stipulate the requirements to be followed in its role as technical advisor to the EC in the preparation of draft ESRS or draft amendments of ESRS.
The Consultation is open for comments until 15 September 2021.
Priorities for the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Slovenia will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July. In line with the work of the last two presidencies, the Presidency set up four main priorities:
- achieving resilience, recovery and strategic autonomy of the EU: implementing the NextGen EU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and accelerating the green and digital transition
- using the conference on the Future of Europe as a forum for a Europe-wide debate on what the EU should look like in the future to meet EU citizens’ expectations
- protecting the European way of life and protecting the rule of law
- reinforcing the role of EU on a global level, while pursuing an important geopolitical role for the neighbour countries and the enlargement strategy
EU Taxonomy Compass
The EC released an online tool that will provide an easier visual representation of the EU Taxonomy contents, including the Delegated Act on the climate objectives. It will be regularly updated to include future delegated acts. These acts will specify technical screening criteria for additional economic activities substantially contributing to the climate and environmental objectives of the Taxonomy Regulation.
MEPs ask to reconcile crypto-assets technology and sustainability
MEPs have called on the EC to address environmental aspect of crypto-assets at the European Parliament (EP) Economic Affairs Committee joint debate on the ‘digital finance package’.
They highlighted the need to green the crypto-assets and ensure that the crypto-assets and their mining technology do not pose a threat to the global sustainability goals. Participating MEPs stated that they cannot support crypto assets based on a technology which uses more energy than some Member States.
The EC representative indicated that in terms of the environmental aspects they will aim to ensure coherence with the EU Taxonomy.
EC reassures NGOs over transparency in the EU Taxonomy’s Climate delegated Act
WWF, Transport & Environment, BEUC, BirdLife and ECOS, re-joined the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance. The decision came after the EC committed in its letter to more transparency in the adoption of future delegated acts on the EU Taxonomy. The five NGOs left the Platform on 21 April, contesting certain provisions of the draft Climate delegated act.
New financial instrument to facilitate the transition towards a green economy
The Council adopted a regulation establishing the Just Transition Fund. It will consist of €17.5 billion that will finance projects to diversify the local economies, and will alleviate the socio-economic costs for communities across the EU depending on fossil fuels or greenhouse gas-intensive industries. The main support will be granted to SMEs, start-ups, and new firms. Investments related to nuclear power stations, fossil fuels and tobacco are excluded from the scope of the support.
NGOs’ battle over forestry and bioenergy criteria in Taxonomy
The NGO Transport & Environment, together with other 90 civil society organizations, asked in a letter to the EP to refuse the classification of logging and burning trees as green investments in the framework of EU Taxonomy. In particular, they call for:
- ending support for burning trees and crops in the Renewable Energy Directive proposal tabled for July 2021
- revising the Land Use, Land Change, and Forestry Regulation (LULUCF)
- including science-based evidence in all the legislative files concerning forestry
- reconsidering the bioenergy and forestry taxonomy criteria