The Commission is also consulting on proposed targeted amendments to the Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act and on the Taxonomy Disclosures Delegated Act.

By Paul A. DaviesMichael D. Green, and James Bee

On 5 April 2023 the European Commission opened a consultation on its proposal for four additional environmental objectives under the EU Taxonomy Regulation[1] (the Taxonomy), including: (i) sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources; (ii) transition to a circular economy; (iii) pollution prevention and control; and (iv) protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

The Commission is seeking feedback on technical screening criteria (TSC) for economic activities that may substantially contribute to one or more of those four environmental objectives. The TSC do not only identify the technical requirements that an activity must meet to be considered to make a substantial contribution to one of these areas, they also specify the conditions by which the activities can be considered to not do any significant harm to the remaining areas.

The Commission has already adopted TSC related to the economic activities of two other environmental objectives: climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.

The Commission is also proposing amendments to the Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act, introducing additional activities that may be considered to substantially contribute to climate change mitigation or climate change adaptation, as well as the Taxonomy Disclosures Delegated Act.

As part of the European Green Deal ambitions, the proposal encourages sustainable consumption through additional incentives to repair products to reduce waste and emissions.

By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and James Bee

On 22 March 2023, the European Commission (Commission) adopted a new proposal on common rules promoting the repair of goods (the Proposal). The Proposal seeks to deliver on the environmental targets outlined in the European Green Deal, specifically regarding sustainable consumption, by increasing consumer incentives to repair products rather than replace them, especially after a product’s legal guarantee under the EU’s Sale of Goods Directive has expired. The Proposal will therefore aim to create growth in the market for refurbished products, furthering the Green Deal ambition of promoting a circular economy.

The proposals form part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan and aim to scale up technology and materials for the energy transition.

By Paul A. Davies, Beatrice Lo, JP Sweny, Alexander Buckeridge-Hocking, Michael D. Green, and James Bee

On 16 March 2023, the European Commission (Commission) formally proposed two legislative initiatives and announced the development of a European Hydrogen Bank as part of its program to enhance the EU’s competitiveness in green technologies and support its transition towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Plan aims to “simplify, accelerate and align incentives to preserve the competitiveness and attractiveness of the EU as an investment location for the net-zero industry”[1].

By Paul A. DaviesMichael D. Green, and James Bee

On 1 February 2023, the European Commission (Commission) presented a proposal for a Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age (the Plan). The Plan forms part of the European Green Deal adopted in 2019, which sets out the EU’s green transition ambitions and climate targets towards reaching net zero by 2050. The Plan sits alongside other Green Deal initiatives, including the “Fit for 55” package of policies (which seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030), as well as REPowerEU (introduced to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels and provide clean and affordable energy).

The Plan is designed to support the scaling up of the EU’s net zero manufacturing capacities and installation of sustainable products and energy supplies, whilst also enhancing the competitiveness of Europe’s net zero industry. This Plan is particularly relevant in light of the US Inflation Reduction Act in the US, which aims to mobilise over $360 billion by 2032[2], and recent concerns in relation to energy security and energy prices in the EU.