Money is a powerful tool – power and the EU's taxonomy. This is stated by Minister of Financial Markets Åsa Lindhagen (MP) at Di's conference Start-up Sweden. ”The price of emission rights within the EU is soaring and coal-fired power plants are closing down. When I see that development, I also see the power of pricing in the right way, ”she says.
Published: 8 September 2022, 17:40A fire speech in defense of the driving forces behind the EU's green taxonomy, but a more wait-and-see approach to the concrete proposal that has been presented. This is how one could sum up Minister of Finance Mark Åsa Lindhagen's (MP) speech at Di's conference Start-up Sweden. "The times we live in with climate crisis, environmental crisis and anti-democratic forces, these are times that scare me," she says. with a strong feeling that it has never been so important to be human on earth as it is now. I am convinced that we live in crucial times ", she continues.In the green she restarts advocates, the financial market and business have a crucial role to play. Climate change will require large investments and it is in this context that the EU's taxonomy for sustainable investments must be understood, says Åsa Lindhagen. ”Money is power. If we steer the money towards sustainable operations, it matters, "she says." The price of emission rights within the EU is soaring and coal-fired power plants are closing. When I see that development, I also see the power of pricing in the right way. It is an enormous force that we must use ", she continues.Taxonomy solves today "My conviction is that if the taxonomy is designed correctly, it can be an important tool in the transition," she says. the taxonomy is not static, but will develop over time, and that it is not mandatory, but intended to steer investment in a green direction. ”The European Commission estimates that 1-5 percent of all activities today can be classified as very sustainable. But just because you are not classified as very sustainable, you are not unsustainable ", she says.With a system that classifies and standardizes sustainability, she also sees that Swedish companies can benefit "because they are often far ahead in the transition" and illustrates with SSAB-led Hybrit who make steel with hydrogen instead of coal. "The steel lobby within the EU has said that it is impossible. Now we do it in Sweden. It can provide enormous competitive advantages ", she says. Both within the EU and in Sweden, the criteria for what is actually a sustainable activity, in for example forestry and bioenergy, have aroused debate. In the Riksdag, a majority has opposed the taxonomy that has been presented. The Minister of Financial Markets did not touch on this more than to state that the purpose of the taxonomy is uncontroversial and has broad support within the EU, but that the challenges come in terms of details. Opinions differ between different countries. "Internationally, there are those who think that Sweden has had a very large impact," she says, referring to the criteria for forestry and energy in the final proposal being relaxed compared with various drafts.“There are also those who believe that there should be stricter requirements. It is not an easy balancing act for the European Commission ", says Åsa Lindhagen. But in an overall perspective, she sees in the long run no contradiction between national interests and a change." Because if we do not succeed with the change, we will have no business, no jobs, no welfare ", she says. Björn Wallenberg