Recently, WorldGBC Europe responded to a consultation from the technical expert group on sustainable finance (TEG) on the development of the 'taxonomy' - an EU-wide classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities. This follows on from the Commission's legislative proposal on an EU taxonomy in May 2018.
Using insights from the Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) and the network's work on Level(s), WorldGBC Europe's response advocated taking a pragmatic starting point for the taxonomy. The response welcomed TEG's proposal to evaluate the use of Energy Performance Certificates as a proxy but stressed that in the medium term, the taxonomy should evolve to focus on in-use carbon emissions, whilst respecting the principle of energy efficiency first.
The response further stressed that a life cycle approach to buildings is the level of long-term ambition our sector needs to aim for. Therefore, the taxonomy must give a clear signal to the financial sector that sustainable built environment assets must aim for net zero carbon across their whole life cycle in order to be 'Paris-proof' and deliver the EU’s vision of a climate neutral Europe.
To achieve this level of ambition, and to make the choice of a pragmatic starting point acceptable, the taxonomy metrics and thresholds must be flexible and reviewed and updated at regular intervals in the period up to 2050.