Two European Parliament committees vote on Tuesday on an attempt to stop the EU labelling gas and nuclear energy as climate-friendly investments, and the outcome may indicate whether the full parliament will support or reject the rules next month.
The European Union’s executive body, the European Commission, wants to include gas and nuclear energy in the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy, an investor rulebook designed to help raise massive amounts of private capital to meet EU climate change targets.
EU countries and MEPs are split, however, over whether the fuels are green enough to earn that label – and could yet reject the EU proposal.
The European Parliament’s environment and economic committees will vote at midday on a resolution to reject the rules. The text says gas and nuclear cannot be considered sustainable based on existing EU laws, and labelling them as green would confuse investors.
“Artificial incentives to invest in expensive nuclear and fossil energy at the expense of renewables and other sustainable sectors is the last thing we need,” said Green lawmaker Bas Eickhout, one of those who submitted the resolution.
Officials expect a tight vote, with some MEP positions still unclear.
However, a cross-party informal coalition is pushing for a negative vote.
“For us, of course, it is not acceptable to qualify gas and nuclear as sustainable and allow the green finances for the future to finance those projects,” said Christophe Hansen, a Luxembourgish MEP from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political group in Parliament.
Hansen was addressing a joint media briefing last week with MEPs from the other major political parties, including the centrist Renew Europe, the Greens, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Left.
“That is not saying that we will not need, in the next years, gas and nuclear,” Hansen said. “But we just are of the point of view that we shouldn’t misuse or greenwash, the sustainable finance to do so”.