The Platform on Sustainable Finance has released preliminary recommendations for the criteria to determine economic activities’ contribution to the four “non-climate” environmental objectives under the EU’s sustainability taxonomy framework.

These are: the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources; the transition to a circular economy; pollution prevention and control; and the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

The European Commission has already adopted rules relating to the taxonomy framework’s climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives, and a delegated act covering mainly the remaining objectives is due to be adopted in the first half of next year. The European Parliament and the Council have three months for scrutiny of delegated acts.

The draft taxonomy criteria for the non-climate objectives are the work of the Platform on Sustainable Finance’s technical working group, which ended up building a group of about 100 experts to deliver 102 technical screening criteria.

For workload and resource reasons, the Platform had to select economic activities to prioritise for the development of the technical screening criteria. The activities are spread across eight different sectors, including agriculture, forestry and fishing; mining and processing; manufacturing; energy; and transport.

In addition, the Platform was invited to address three activities to help implement European Commission commitments with regard to critical raw materials.

The methodology for choosing the prioritised economic activities is set out by the Platform in the call for feedback documents. The advisory body has said recommendations for a second batch of activities and criteria would likely be addressed in a later update of the delegated act by the Commission.

“Thus, non-inclusion by the platform in the first batch of priority activities does not imply that the activity will not be considered for inclusion in the EU taxonomy,” it said.

The Platform is looking for feedback on its recommendations until 24 September. It is supposed to deliver a final report to the Commission in November.

Although focussed on the non-climate objectives under the taxonomy framework, the Platform’s technical screening criteria recommendations also cover a small number of economic activities related to the climate mitigation and adaptation objectives.

The Platform on Sustainable Finance is currently also consulting on a pair of reports about a potential social taxonomy, and taxonomy extension options linked to environmental objectives. The deadline for feedback on this is 27 August.

The calls for feedback can be found here and here.

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