The European Commission (EC) has indicated that the burning of all fossil fuels cannot be classified as sustainable. In doing so, the EC follows the scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming. Triodos Bank also believes that fossil fuels can never be qualified as sustainable.
However, the EC has decided that it will consider again at a later date whether the combustion of natural gas can be qualified as sustainable, so that it can be used in countries that wish to abandon the use of coal.
Biomass combustion is also considered sustainable in the taxonomy. Triodos Bank believes that the financial sector must be very cautious when it comes to financing biomass combustion, due to the negative consequences for the environment, caused by an increase in CO2 emissions related to wood burning, and biodiversity.
The EC has also decided to exclude the entire field of agriculture for now. Agriculture involves a complex set of emissions from animals and food production, absorption of CO2 by healthy soils, and a delicate balance of biodiversity in ecosystems. Triodos Bank believes it is important that the eventual classification of agriculture in the taxonomy contributes to an agricultural system that does not harm our planet, human health, and social equality. Such a taxonomy would also do justice to the Farm to Fork Strategy of the European Commission.
The taxonomy criteria also concern human rights: business activities are not sustainable if they benefit the environment yet ignore human rights. This is an important addition when it comes to stimulating positive impact on people and the environment.