On December 4th 2020, Reclaim Finance and Change Finance publish today a report on the lobbying of financial and economic institutions on an EU taxonomy for polluting activities. The briefing analyzes the 648 responses to the consultation on the renewed EU sustainable finance strategy, to provide a clear picture of who are the opponents to a taxonomy for polluting activities, and how they could manage to push the EU Commission to bury this critical piece of legislation. It calls on the EU Commission to prioritize a taxonomy for polluting activities and on financial institutions to end all anti-climate lobbying.

Key facts:

  • Financial institutions are the larger block opposing a taxonomy for polluting activities, with 74 institutions making up 45% of its opponents.
  • Though the financial sector is divided, influential players and their professional federations or associations are leading the charge against a taxonomy for polluting activities. This position is often clearly inconsistent with financial players’ climate commitments.
  • The prominent role of financial professional federations is problematic. They appear to be used by prominent members to further an anti-climate agenda, while other members tacitly assent. Doing so, they adopt positions opposed to those of their more climate-aware members.
  • Financial institutions use four main misleading arguments to oppose a taxonomy for polluting activities, thus protecting high-GHG activities.
  • High-emitting companies, backed by major economic federations and industry groups, are also actively mobilized against a taxonomy for polluting activities. Building on financial players’ mobilization, they could significantly influence the work done in EU institutions and block this necessary piece of legislation.

Our report

Reuters’ investigation based on the report