Taxonomy Working Group

7 June 2021

Call for Stakeholder Inputs on a Draft National Green Finance Taxonomy

Views, questions, and feedback on the following Draft Documents for a national green finance taxonomy for South Africa are warmly invited from all interested stakeholders.

  1. Draft Green Finance Taxonomy (June 2021)
  2. Draft User Guidance Summary Presentation (June 2021)
  3. Draft Green Finance Taxonomy User Guidance (June 2021)
  4. Listing of developmental aspects (June 2021)

Read the full Call for Stakeholder Inputs

Please send your feedback by 14 July 2021 to:
National Treasury
Ms Sarah McPhail Email: 



Under the leadership of National Treasury, and with support from IFC, the National Business Initiative (NBI) and Carbon Trust  are working to develop a first national Green Finance Taxonomy for South Africa.

This is one of the key recommendations of the National Treasury draft Technical Paper on Financing a Sustainable Economy (May 2020)

The initial phase of work is supported by IFC, part of the World Bank Group, in partnership with SECO (Swiss State Secretariat for
Economic Affairs) and Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency)

Extensive stakeholder consultations were undertaken between July and November 2020, including oversight by a Technical Working Group.

Scroll down for more information and additional Project Resources.


The following stakeholder consultation webinars were held in October and November 2020 to get stakeholder input from different user-groups to inform the development of a Green Finance Taxonomy for South Africa.

  • October 12 – Policy Makers and Government Agencies
  • October 13 – Collaboration Engagements
  • October 16 – Financial Market Practitioners
  • October 19 – Land-Use and Biodiversity Sector
  • October 21 – Multilateral Development Institutions
  • November 6 – Companies and Project Developers

Complete the form below to receive project updates and invitations to future briefings.



The purpose of the Working Group is to develop a taxonomy for green, social and sustainable finance initiatives for the South Africa financial services industry, as recommended by National Treasury’s Financing a Sustainable Economy Technical Paper (2020). 

A taxonomy, in the context of sustainable finance, is a classification system identifying activities, assets, and/or project categories that deliver on key climate, green, social or sustainable objectives with reference to identified thresholds and/or targets.

The Climate Risk Forum’s Steering Committee has mandated the establishment of the working group.

Area of Focus

The focus is to develop a taxonomy to take the first critical steps towards ensuring that economic activities are green, and positions South Africa as a resilient, competitive and low carbon economy and society. The taxonomy should not seek to solve all problems for all stakeholders.

The immediate practical priorities and focus areas for the South African financial sector include risks and challenges posed by climate change and the role of the financial sector to respond to these. As such, the initial focus is on a green taxonomy, which provides a manageable starting point.

International taxonomies will be reviewed and the structure, principles, activities and thresholds adapted where applicable. In addition, potentially uniquely South African economic activities will be considered, such as economic activity that addresses social and vulnerable transitions; transition projects; and South African specific development concerns relevant for adaptation and resilience investment needs. Climate change (risk and finance) will be included in the scope of a Green Taxonomy. These may take the form of specific additional criteria and/or adjusted thresholds.


1. Establish Taxonomy

Establish the ‘Version 1’ taxonomy as a platform upon which to build, having defined currently accepted definitions and guiding principles for classifying assets and projects as “green”. This will broadly include, but not be limited to, providing technical review and guidance on the development of:

  • Definitions and principles
  • Thematic areas
  • Screening criteria for economic activities for inclusion/exclusion and methodologies applied for developing technical screening criteria
  • Differentiating dimensions for economic activities
  • Integrating local context technical criteria

2. Governance

Provide inputs on a process for future adaptation, iteration and refinement of the taxonomy, supplements and set of principles. This it to allow the taxonomy to easily evolve for social and sustainable finance, and the inclusion or exclusion of future economic activities or investment contexts that haven’t to date been considered.

3. Recommendations

Provide recommendations on how to ensure that the taxonomy has a clear custodian who is to maintain and continue the evolution of the taxonomy.


Kick-off webinar, 9 July 2020 – Green Recovery: Stimulating Post-COVID Economic Competitiveness in South Africa

Project briefing report, 8 October 2020 – Developing a National Green Finance Taxonomy

Version Zero Stakeholder Workshops slide-deck, October 2020 – South African Green Finance Taxonomy

Stakeholder Presentations, October and November 2020

12 October 2020

16 October 2020

19 October 2020

21 October 2020

6 November 2020