HomeWorld NewsEuropean Parliament backs labeling gas and nuclear investments as green

European Parliament backs labeling gas and nuclear investments as green

  • Lawmakers back EU ‘green’ investment label for fuels
  • Likely to become law unless super-majority of states veto it
  • Gas and nuclear rules have divided EU countries and lawmakers
  • Luxembourg and Austria will challenge the law in court

BRUSSELS, July 6 (Reuters) – The European Parliament on Wednesday backed EU rules labeling investments in gas and nuclear power plants as climate-friendly, rejecting a bid to block the law that revealed deep disagreements between countries on how to fight climate change.

The vote clears the way for the European Union’s proposal to pass unless 20 of the bloc’s 27 member states decide to oppose the move, which is seen as highly unlikely.

The new rules will add gas and nuclear power plants to the EU’s ‘taxonomy’ regulation from 2023, allowing investors to label and market their investments as green.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Of 639 lawmakers present, 328 opposed a motion to block EU gas and nuclear proposals.

The European Commission welcomed the result. He proposed the rules in February after more than a year of delay and intense lobbying by governments and industries.

“The supplementary delegated act is a pragmatic proposal to ensure that private investments in gas and nuclear, necessary for our energy transition, meet strict criteria,” said EU chief financial officer Mairead McGuinness. .

The rules have divided EU countries, lawmakers and investors. Brussels has overhauled the rules several times, flip-flopping on whether to grant gasworks a green label. His final proposal fueled a fierce debate over how to achieve climate goals amid the crisis linked to dwindling Russian gas supplies.

Gas is a fossil fuel that produces planet-warming emissions – but far less than coal, and some EU states see it as a temporary alternative to replace dirtier fuel.

Nuclear energy is free of CO2 emissions but produces radioactive waste. Proponents like France say nuclear is vital to meeting emissions reduction targets, while opponents cite concerns over waste disposal. Read more

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said the vote result was good for energy security and emissions reduction targets.

“We will remain on the path to climate neutrality by 2050,” he said.

Luxembourg and Austria, which both oppose nuclear power and have warned against labeling gas as green, said they would challenge the law in court.

“It is neither credible, nor ambitious, nor knowledge-based, endangers our future and is more than irresponsible,” Austrian Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler said.

Climate activists criticized the move, with Greenpeace saying it would also constitute a legal challenge.

“It’s a bad signal to the rest of the world that could undermine the EU’s leadership position on climate action,” said Anders Schelde, chief investment officer of Danish pension fund AkademikerPension.

Industry groups welcomed the vote. Ingbert Liebing, chief executive of German local utility association VKU, called it “an important sign of natural gas’s role as a gateway to achieving climate goals.”

The EU taxonomy aims to shed some light on the murky world of sustainable investing, ensuring that all financial products making green claims meet certain standards. Gasworks, for example, must switch to low-carbon gases by 2035 and meet an emissions limit. Read more

The impact of the law on investment trends remains to be determined. The taxonomy does not prohibit investments in activities without a green label.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Kate Abnett; additional reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by John Chalmers, Alexandra Hudson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Must Read