EU Taxonomy

The EU taxonomy has led to the exclusion of energy recovery from waste and all related activities. It seems necessary to discuss this again with the EU.


The EU taxonomy is a sustainable ("green”) financing instrument in order to redirect investments into more sustainable, environmentally sound economical activities. The taxonomy has the goal to provide investors, policymakers and companies with the definition of sustainable activities in order to create transparency and avoid greenwashing. It is assumed that the EU taxonomy will function as a role model for international green financing and will have a worldwide impact.
The taxonomy addresses six environmental objectives: climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, the transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention and control, the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. In 2021 a first set of technical screening criteria giving details on what an activity has to fulfil in order to be labelled as green were published for the climate objectives. For the other four environmental objectives a list of technical screening criteria will be available soon. However, some criteria are rather vague and therefore, their implementation will be difficult to verify. Nevertheless, all companies currently reporting under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive will now have to publish their conformity with the taxonomy.
Waste management is addressed in most of the objectives and obviously contributes considerably to the environmental objective of "transition to a circular economy”. However, the taxonomy regulation labels any activity that increases waste incineration of non-hazardous waste as "significantly harmful” to the circular economy. This has not only led to the exclusion of waste-to-energy but also to the exclusion of all related activities (e.g. residual waste management, bottom ash treatment).  
Before published in German:
Müll&Abfall, Erich Schmidt Verlag Berlin, 2022
TK Verlag GmbH, Berlin, Energie aus Abfall, ISBN: 978-3-944310-59-62022, June  

published: , 4|2022
Keywords: Policy Tax Instruments, EU