The European Zero Emissions Technology & Innovation Platform (ZEP) welcomes the publication of the Technical Expert Group report on the Sustainable Taxonomy. The report outlines an EU classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities, alongside sector and activity-specific technical screening criteria, to encourage capital markets to re-direct capital flows.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, says, “We welcome the Technical Report 2019 by the Technical Expert Group (TEG) on the Sustainable Taxonomy. ZEP has actively contributed to the technical work in recent months. We are convinced that the Taxonomy can play a critical role in re-orienting finance towards sustainable economic assets and activities, enabling a more cost-effective, sustainable and equitable transition to a climate neutral EU by 2050.”
Dr Sweeney continues, “Given ZEP’s mandate as formal advisor to the European Commission on Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), we particularly welcome the classification of:
- CCS as eligible in any sector or activity if it enables the primary activity to meet the relevant threshold, including with the production of steel, cement and chemicals. This will greatly benefit Europe’s efforts to develop sustainable industrial value chains and clusters.
- Manufacturing of blue hydrogen with CCS as sustainable if it meets the threshold. While support for green hydrogen via electrolysis is critical, we will not create the necessary volumes in time without blue hydrogen produced through steam reforming of natural gas coupled with CCS.
- CO2 transport and storage infrastructure as essential to meet our climate objectives. Publicly backed CO2infrastructure can help mitigate investment risks for the private sector, stimulate CCS by creating an investment model, and enable emissions intensive industries to address future increases in the cost of emitting CO2 by providing access to the infrastructure they need to decarbonise.”
He adds, “Overall, the TEG’s approach aligns with the fact that CCS is now widely considered an indispensable technology for the long-term decarbonisation of industry and power, alongside maximum deployment of renewables. This is evidenced by the references in the IPCC’s Special Report, its role as a building block in the Commission’s 2050 decarbonisation pathways, and the inclusion in draft National Energy and Climate Plans of various EU Member States.”
“That being said, for CCS projects to be operational by 2035, significant activity will need to be undertaken beforehand. That is one reason why we now need to operationalise the Taxonomy so we can reap the benefits as soon as possible. We call on Member States and the Commission to endorse and implement the recommendations of the TEG to ensure alignment with EU fiscal instruments and climate neutrality,” Dr Sweeney concludes.