EBA reactions to Commission’s report on sustainable finance
The European Commission has set up a Technical Expert Group (TEG) to prepare a report on Sustainable Finance for the development of an EU classification system (EU Taxonomy) that will determine which economic activities are considered environmentally sustainable. The TEG held a call for feedback on its report on EU taxonomy from 3 July to 16 September 2019 and EBA has participated in the consultation to ensure the report takes full acount of the role of biogas and biomethane in achieving some of Europe’s key policy objectives.
The TEG report does not consider sequential/secondary crops sustainable. Such assumption may hamper the efforts to make the European agriculture more sustainable and resource-efficient. Sustainable multi-cropping benefits soil quality and mitigates pesticide application. Together with digestate use, multi-cropping can yield carbon sequestration in soil through increasing organic carbon.
With the right support, biogas/biomethane can be competitive by 2030, and a vital tool to meet some of Europe’s key policy aims such as energy security, sector integration, sustainable employment and climate-friendly energy. The different policies having effect on biogas regulating renewable energy, waste management, agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions and gas supply must support each other and avoid any contradiction. The new Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 that was agreed on following a complete legislative process with public consultations and assessment of best available technologies, includes strict sustainability criteria for biomass fuels and any new policy on sustainability should mirror those criteria to avoid discrepancies and investment insecurity.
The TEG will analyse the responses in autumn and will advise the Commission on how to take the feedback forward.