Dataset Open Access

EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Activities (Tidy)

Daniel Antal

In order to meet the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030 and reach the objectives of the European green deal, it is vital that we direct investments towards sustainable projects and activities. To achieve this, a common language and a clear definition of what is ‘sustainable’ is needed. This is why the action plan on financing sustainable growth called for the creation of a common classification system for sustainable economic activities, or an EU taxonomy.

The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities in the areas of Climate mitigation, Climate adaptation, Biodiversity, Circular economy, Water, Pollution prevention. It could play an important role helping the EU scale up sustainable investment and implement the European green deal. The EU taxonomy would provide companies, investors and policymakers with appropriate definitions for which economic activities can be considered environmentally sustainable. It was defined by the Regulation (EU) 2020/852

The European Commmission created an EU Taxonomy Compass provides a visual representation of the contents of the EU Taxonomy, starting with the Delegated Act on the climate objectives, as adopted on 4 June 2021. Whilst you can download the EU Taxonomy in xlsx or json format, they are not tidy datasets, and they are not particularly well-suited for calculations or filtering.

Reprex created a tidy version of the EU Taxonomy for developing better sustainability indicators into the Green Deal Data Observatory. This tidy version has subjective weights given to broader NACE sections and divisions. We plan to add better, more objective weights for NACE sections or divisions which are only partially matching the EU Taxonomy. For example, H49.32 is part of the sustainable taxonomy, but the entire H49 division is not. Therefore, we use weight=0.5 for this division. The A2 division is fully part of the taxonomy, and we use a weight=1 to refer to this fact. A better weighting would consider the weight of the H492.32 activity within the H49 division in the European economy. What would make such a weighting tricy is that this weight is different for each European country and the EU as a whole.

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