Brussels, 9 December 2021 – For immediate release
The EMF-ECBC welcomes the ambition and leadership of the EU in laying down a clear and comprehensive path towards a more sustainable way of life for the EU’s citizens and businesses. The adoption today by the Council of the EU Taxonomy Delegated Act, which contains the technical screening criteria (“TSC”) for climate change adaptation and mitigation under the EU Taxonomy Regulation, marks an important milestone in the EU’s journey to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through the EU Green Deal and, in the case of buildings, the EU Renovation Wave Strategy.
Against a backdrop where 75% of the EU building stock is believed to be energy inefficient, improving the energy performance of the EU’s homes, workplaces, schools, hospitals, libraries or other public buildings has a crucial role to play in meeting the EU’s targets. In this context, the Taxonomy TSC adopted today will be key in guiding investment to environmentally sustainable economic activities, including those relating to buildings.
Since 2015, the EMF-ECBC, through the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative (EEMI), has been leading market efforts to mobilise the potential of the mortgage industry to finance and therefore transform the energy efficiency of the EU’s buildings. At the heart of its efforts is the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) Label, which is aimed at identifying Taxonomy-aligned energy efficient mortgages in banks’ loan portfolios as a robust way of stimulating consumer demand and supporting banks in aligning to these important requirements over time, enabling them to demonstrate portfolio eligibility and deliver transparency and best practice at European and global level.
After today’s adoption of the TSC, all eyes will now turn to their implementation. Careful and appropriate guidance and clarity around the ‘usability’ of the Taxonomy for underlying financial products will be extremely important. Only the right balance between the ambitions of the EU’s Renovation Wave Strategy and Taxonomy eligibility will stimulate and propel market development in energy efficient mortgages. The EMF-ECBC stands ready to support the European Commission in getting this balance right and embedding the EU Taxonomy in banks’ activities.
Commenting on this recent development, EMF-ECBC Secretary General, Luca Bertalot, said:
“The EU Taxonomy will act as a compass for sustainable economic activities and therefore will be an important guide for banks in funding the Renovation Wave our future generations need. The identification of taxonomy-aligned assets is essential if we want to mobilise and scale-up investment in a carbon-neutral future, as well as a green recovery from the pandemic. Through its efforts to deliver an innovative, green market ecosystem around EEM, green covered bonds and green European Secured Notes (ESN), our industry is a driver for change for our economy and remains absolutely committed to ensuring the transition is not only sustainable but leaves no one behind.”