Lawmakers in the European Parliament have formed a cross-party coalition, which aims to block nuclear energy and fossil gas from receiving a green investment label under the EU’s green finance taxonomy. The coalition has objected to a European Commission proposal, tabled at the end of 2021, to include fossil gas and nuclear power in the EU’s list of green investments as “transitional” sources of energy. The European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee members, at a joint meeting on 14 June, voted by 76 to 62, with four abstentions and six who did not vote, to oppose the EU taxonomy plans.
The European Commission's Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation covering certain gas and nuclear activities was introduced in March and is due to come into force on 1 January 2023, provided a simple majority of the 705 MEPs support it. The motion will then be submitted again for a vote at the Parliament’s July plenary, which will have the final say on the decision.
“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 lawmaker from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political group in Parliament had told a press conference on 8 June. He was supported by other political groups, including the centrist Renew Europe, the Greens, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Left.