Sustainable Finance Taxonomy: In October 2019, trialogue negotiations began on the planned EU Taxonomy Regulation, which aims to set out uniform criteria, and a process for establishing a unified classification system, for determining whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable. If a political agreement is reached early, the Regulation could be formally adopted in Q1 2020.
Benchmark Regulation: Amendments introduce two new categories of benchmarks: "low-carbon" benchmarks and "positive-carbon impact" benchmarks. In addition, the possibility of using existing, but non-registered critical benchmarks has been extended until the end of 2021. Also extended was the admissible maximum period for a mandatory administration of, or contribution to, critical benchmarks, namely to a total of five years.
Climate Protection Legislation: In line with the Climate Protection Plan 2030 published in October 2019 the government started legislative procedures to introduce a national CO2 pricing regime for the transport and heating sectors as of 2021, requiring companies selling fuels to acquire CO2 certificates. Coal fuelled power plants are to exit the market by 2038. Also, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources will grow to 65% in 2030. Energy storage, electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure will be promoted by adjusting regulatory requirements.
Plastic Regulation: The upcoming implementation of the EU-Single-Use Plastics Directive will lead to stronger regulation of certain types of single-use plastic products, the general rise in awareness having possible regulatory effects on all types of plastics.