EU Taxonomy and How it Relates to Cities’ Achieving Climate Neutrality
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, and the European Union is at the forefront of the global effort to combat it.
The EU's Taxonomy regulation aims to provide a classification system for sustainable economic activities that can contribute to the EU's goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. AFRY’s Sustainable Urban Development expert Maja Manner explores the EU Taxonomy and how it can help cities reach climate neutrality.
The EU Taxonomy, launched in 2020, is a classification system designed to help investors, businesses, and policymakers make informed decisions about investments and policy interventions that can contribute to the EU's climate goals. Cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. They take up only 4% of the EU's land area, but they are home to 75% of EU citizens. As the EU is aiming to be climate-neutral by 2050, the EU Taxonomy system can help cities identify sustainable economic activities that reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to their sustainable development goals.
The EU Taxonomy and Cities: Necessary Steps to Reach Climate Neutrality
The EU Taxonomy provides a roadmap for cities to identify sustainable economic activities that contribute to the achievement of their climate and sustainable development goals. To reach climate neutrality, cities need to take several critical steps, including:
Decarbonizing energy systems: Cities can transition to renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Investing in energy-efficient buildings: Cities can promote the construction of green buildings and retrofit existing buildings to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.
Promoting low-carbon transportation: Cities can invest in public transportation systems, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian areas to encourage low-carbon modes of transportation.
Adopting circular economy principles: Cities can promote waste reduction, recycling, and reuse to minimize their environmental impact and promote sustainable consumption patterns.
Fostering sustainable land use: Cities can adopt sustainable land use practices, such as preserving green spaces and promoting urban agriculture, to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance the livability of their communities.
“The EU Taxonomy is an essential tool in the fight against climate change, and cities play a crucial role in achieving climate neutrality. By taking these critical steps, cities can reduce their carbon footprint, promote sustainable economic activities, and contribute to the achievement of the EU's climate and sustainable development goals.”
Maja Manner, expert Sustainable Urban Development, AFRY