In March 2018, the European Commission released an action plan on sustainable finance.* Its objective is to reorient capital flows on financial markets towards sustainable investment in order to allow the EU to further the 2015 Paris Agreement goals. With that objective in mind, in May 2018 the Commission put forward a draft legislation package that included the interest rate benchmark reform; the taxonomy regulation and a regulation on the disclosure of non financial information by financial market participants. Since sustainable finance is a crucial element of the European Green Deal,** in 2020 the Commission conducted a consultation on the renewed sustainable finance strategy, which was summarised in a report published in February 2021. In response to the views and opinions submitted by consultation participants, a new package of regulations and draft legislation aimed at making the financial sector greener was published by the Commission in April 2021. Of key importance to PGNiG is Commission Delegated Regulation***,
supplementing Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on taxonomy.**** The delegated regulation establishes technical screening criteria for determining whether an economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation or climate change adaptation. Its importance is determined by the fact that an economic activity will be considered ‘green’ only if it meets the above criteria, and this in turn will be fundamental to future decisions of investors seeking to green their portfolios. The decision regarding the classification of the natural gas business was postponed until 2022. PGNiG predicts the natural gas business will be classified as a ‘transitional activity’. The risk of a decision to exclude natural gas from the taxonomy framework entirely will force PGNiG to take steps to change its financing strategy.
* Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Central Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Action Plan: Financing Sustainable Growth https://eurlex.europa.eu/legalcontent/PL/TXT/PDF/uri=CELEX:52018DC0097&from=PL
** European Commission, Communication on the European Green Deal, p. 18.
*** (EU) C/2021/4987 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council by specifying the content and presentation of information to be disclosed by undertakings subject to Articles 19a or 29a of Directive 2013/34/EU concerning environmentally sustainable economic activities, and specifying the methodology to comply with that disclosure obligation https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal content/PL/TXT/?uri=PI_COM:C(2021)4987
**** Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 18th 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal content/PL/TXT/PDF/uri=CELEX:32020R0852&from=PL