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26 Aug 2019

Eleni Choidas, ShareAction, Lis Cunha, ActionAid International & Rachel Owens, Global Witness, via Euractiv

EU sustainable finance 'taxonomy' proposal provides insufficient social & human rights safeguards, argue NGO experts

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'Human rights and green finance: friends or foes?', 22 August 2019

...EU Member States in the Council are currently discussing the Taxonomy proposal... Once finalised, it is expected that... this classification system... will help companies raise capital in environmentally friendly operations, as well as give investors a common framework that will prevent greenwashing.

Yet, ...not enough attention is being paid towards guaranteeing that the Taxonomy will not unwittingly promote harm to people as it seeks to power environmental progress...

Many vulnerable communities in the South have already lost their land and seen their food security undermined in the expanding drive for biofuel production. Cases of displacement, harms to indigenous peoples’ rights, threats and killings linked to wind, hydropower and solar projects around the world have also been reported...

It is crucial that strong social safeguards are introduced as a key compliance requirement in the Taxonomy...

The co-legislators must... ensure that complying with the Taxonomy will require due diligence processes which... are based on engagement with stakeholders impacted...

Secondly..., policy-makers must ensure the inclusion of human rights experts in the forthcoming Permanent Platform on Sustainable Finance, tasked with the continued oversight and review of these safeguards.