EU taxonomy-related reports that were due from the Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF) last month are now to be published in the first quarter of next year, it has been confirmed.

The PSF, whose main purpose is to advise the European Commission in matters relating to the further development and implementation of the EU taxonomy, explained the timetable changes earlier this week.

The Platform has been working on three main pieces of advice: a report on a possible “environmental transition taxonomy”, recommendations on a possible social taxonomy, and recommendations for determining economic activities’ contribution to the four “non-climate” environmental objectives under the EU’s taxonomy framework.

On the recommendations relating to the technical screening criteria for the remaining objectives, the Platform said it had asked for, and been granted, an extension due to the extensive feedback it had received on its draft report.

The Platform’s advice on these criteria is supposed to inform the development of a delegated act that the Commission has previously said it would adopted in the first half of 2022.

The first list of sustainable economic activities, from the point of view of climate change objectives, was recently cleared to become official next month.

With regard to the social taxonomy, the PSF said that following public feedback received during its consultation, it had substantially reworked the report and that the new timetable had been confirmed to allow enough time to adequately address the feedback and finalise the report.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Nathan Fabian, chair of the PSF, said the final report would simplify the proposed approach for both rights-based and inclusive growth social dimenstions.

He said the Platform was also considering linkages with other reporting obligations, including European sustainability reporting standards (connected to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), and the sustainable finance disclosure regulation (SFDR).

“Unlike the environmental taxonomy there is currently no social taxonomy regulation,” Fabian reminded readers. “We continue to work on minimum safeguards which is already part of the taxonpmy.”

Transition taxonomy?

In the summer the Platform published a draft report on options for extending the taxonomy for environmental objectives, suggesting including (red) economic activities that significantly harm these objectives and (amber) “intermediate” economic activities that do no significant harm and may contribute somewhat, although not significantly, to the environmental objectives.

The delay of the final advice comes after the Commission asked the PSF to consider “additional targeted questions when finalising the report to reflect usability, consistency and coherence aspects raised by the stakeholder feedback”.

According to Fabian, the final report will show how intermediate performance and “no-significant impact activities” can be included to support an economy-wide transition. He said this included facilitating finance for the transition away from significantly harmful activities.

Fabian said the Commission had also asked the Platform to consider how any additional categories might connect to the SFDR, the CSRD and other parts of the EU sustainable finance agenda.

He also said the Platform was working with the Commission to support the provision of guidance on taxonomy implementation for companies and investors.

This week, the delegated act for taxonomy disclosures was published in the EU official journal; it applies from 1 January 2022. On Twitter, Martin Spolc, head of the sustainable finance unit in the Commission, said Frequently Asked Questions guidance would be coming very soon.

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