Substantial contribution to climate change mitigation
1. An economic activity shall qualify as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation where that activity contributes substantially to the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level which prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system consistent with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement through the avoidance or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the increase of greenhouse gas removals, including through process innovations or product innovations, by:
(a) generating, transmitting, storing, distributing or using renewable energy in line with Directive (EU) 2018/2001, including through using innovative technology with a potential for significant future savings or through necessary reinforcement or extension of the grid;
(b) improving energy efficiency, except for power generation activities as referred to in Article 19(3);
(c) increasing clean or climate-neutral mobility;
(d) switching to the use of sustainably sourced renewable materials; (e) increasing the use of environmentally safe carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that deliver a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
(f) strengthening land carbon sinks, including through avoiding deforestation and forest degradation, restoration of forests, sustainable management and restoration of croplands, grasslands and wetlands, afforestation, and regenerative agriculture; (g) establishing energy infrastructure required for enabling the decarbonisation of energy systems;
(h) producing clean and efficient fuels from renewable or carbon-neutral sources; or
(i) enabling any of the activities listed in points (a) to (h) of this paragraph in accordance with Article 16.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, an economic activity for which there is no technologically and economically feasible low-carbon alternative shall qualify as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation where it supports the transition to a climate-neutral economy consistent with a pathway to limit the temperature increase to 1,5 0C above pre-industrial levels, including by phasing out greenhouse gas emissions, in particular emissions from solid fossil fuels, and where that activity: (a) has greenhouse gas emission levels that correspond to the best performance in the sector or industry;
(b) does not hamper the development and deployment of low-carbon alternatives; and
(c) does not lead to a lock-in of carbon-intensive assets, considering the economic lifetime of those assets.
For the purpose of this paragraph and the establishment of technical screening criteria pursuant to Article 19, the Commission shall assess the potential contribution and feasibility of all relevant existing technologies.
3. The Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 23 to:
(a) supplement paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article by establishing technical screening criteria for determining the conditions under which a specific economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation; and
(b) supplement Article 17 by establishing, for each relevant environmental objective, technical screening criteria for determining whether an economic activity in respect of which technical screening criteria have been established pursuant to point (a) of this paragraph causes significant harm to one or more of those objectives.
4. Prior to adopting the delegated act referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article, the Commission shall consult the Platform referred to in Article 20 regarding the technical screening criteria referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article.
5. The Commission shall establish the technical screening criteria referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article in one delegated act, taking into account the requirements of Article 19.
6. The Commission shall adopt the delegated act referred to in paragraph 3 by 31 December 2020, with a view to ensuring its application from 1 January 2022.
In establishing and updating the technical screening criteria for the environmental objective of climate change mitigation, the Commission should take into account and provide incentives for the ongoing and necessary transition towards a climate-neutral economy in accordance with Article 10(2) of this Regulation. In addition to the use of climate-neutral energy and more investments in already low-carbon economic activities and sectors, the transition requires substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in other economic activities and sectors for which there are no technologically and economically feasible low-carbon alternatives. Those transitional economic activities should qualify as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation if their greenhouse gas emissions are substantially lower than the sector or industry average, they do not hamper the development and deployment of low-carbon alternatives and they do not lead to a lock-in of assets incompatible with the objective of climate- neutrality, considering the economic lifetime of those assets. The technical screening criteria for such transitional economic activities should ensure that those transitional activities have a credible path towards climate-neutrality, and should be adjusted accordingly at regular intervals.