Discussion Paper

The implementation of sustainability taxonomies: the case of South Africa

Hilbrich, Sören / Kathrin Berensmann / Giovanna Artmann / Sam Ashman / Theresa Herbold / Steffen Lötters-Viehof / Agnese Monti / Felix Paffhausen Stephanie Roigk / Lee-Ann Steenkamp
Discussion Paper (15/2023)

Bonn: German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)

ISBN: 978-3-96021-218-8
DOI: https://doi.org/10.23661/idp15.2023
Price: 6 €

see also:
The implementation of sustainable finance taxonomies: learning from South African experiences
(Policy Brief 20/2023)

In recent years, many jurisdictions have developed sustainability taxonomies that aim to increase transparency of financial markets and redirect capital flows to sustainable investments. Such sustainable finance policies can be important levers because today’s investments shape economic production processes for decades. This case study on South Africa’s Green Finance Taxonomy (GFT) addresses the question of what factors influence the adoption of sustainability taxonomies by potential users. It finds that one year after its publication, the GFT has hardly been used in practice. Important factors hindering an effective implementation are a lack of regulatory embedding, the absence of a legal recognition of the GFT by the European Union (EU), a hesitancy among financial market participants to build capacities to collect the necessary data, and fossil-fuel path dependencies in South Africa’s economy. These findings have important policy implications (e.g. regarding accompanying governance measures) for implementation processes in many countries in the coming years.

Further experts

Schiller, Armin von

Political Science 

Volz, Ulrich



Cornelia Hornschild
Publication Coordinator

E-mail Cornelia.Hornschild@idos-research.de
Phone +49 (0)228 94927-135
Fax +49 (0)228 94927-130

Alexandra Fante
Librarian/ Open Access Coordinator

E-Mail Alexandra.Fante@idos-research.de
Telefon +49 (0)228 94927-321
Fax +49 (0)228 94927-130