Two crucial committees of European lawmakers rejected plans to label gas and nuclear power as green, marking a win for climate campaigners and environmentally conscious investors who have protested against plans to use the technologies in the energy transition.
Members of the environment and economy committees supported a cross-party objection to the European Commission’s proposal for the two technologies to be included in its so-called taxonomy by a margin of 76-62, with four abstentions. The process now moves to a vote in parliament next month, which if approved would torpedo the addition of gas and nuclear to the list of economic activities that are beneficial for the climate.
“The EU has the chance to take the global lead in the fight against climate change and set the gold standard for investment in the climate neutral economy,” Bas Eickhout, a Green lawmaker said in a statement. “We need massive investment in the expansion of renewable energies, not the energies of the past.”
The European Commission’s proposal to label gas and nuclear as sustainable—as long as they receive construction permits by 2035 and 2045, respectively, and respect strict emissions criteria—has been highly controversial. The technologies are vital during the energy transition, especially when moving away from dirty energy like coal, it argues.
But money managers and environmentalists have slammed the move, saying that it is not compatible with the EU’s green commitments and could feed greenwashing in the financial industry, where environmental benefits of an investment are misstated. It could also potentially divert investments away from renewables.
Some of the Commission’s proposals:
Gas projects replacing coal and emitting no more than 270 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour can get a temporary green label, or if annual emissions don’t exceed an average of 550 kilograms per kilowatt-hour over 20 years.
Such plants would have …read more
Source:: Time – World