Posted on 27 May 2022
According to the European Commission, the EU must invest an additional €350 billion per year this decade in order to reach its 2030 climate targets.
The EU Taxonomy was designed as a key instrument to guide private markets towards this target - but it will only succeed if it is built on science and follows expert advice
. However, the Commission is proposing to classify gas and nuclear power as ‘sustainable’ investments in a new taxonomy ‘Complementary Delegated Act’. It could divert billions of euros from renewables and other green technologies to polluting fossil fuels and expensive slow nuclear energy, making the EU’s environmental targets harder to reach. WWF is concerned about the environmental impact of this decision.
In addition, the war in Ukraine, and the energy price crisis it is causing, put the EU Taxonomy in a radically new context. Gas has now become a source of energy insecurity and geopolitical risk in Europe.
With this in mind, Europe has even less reason to label new gas plants as sustainable. It is important to remember that the Taxonomy does not block any investments, nor does it oblige anyone to invest in anything: it only clarifies which investments are environmentally sustainable. MEPs can therefore reject the inclusion of gas and nuclear in the Taxonomy while leaving every Member State free to support gas and nuclear with public and private finance. They will just be saving private investors and citizens from being deceived into putting their money into investments they believe are sustainable when, in fact, these investments threaten Europe’s energy security and its environment.
Our briefing outlines five reasons the European Parliament must reject the inclusion of gas and nuclear power in the Taxonomy ‘Complementary Delegated Act’.