Late on 31 December 2021, the European Commission confidentially circulated a plan that would classify fossil gas and nuclear power as ‘sustainable’ investments. The plan was then leaked to the media. It appears that the Commission will not hold a public consultation on this plan - the second chapter of the EU ‘taxonomy’ - despite having done so three times for the first chapter, which covered renewable energy.
WWF is highly concerned by the shift in the Commission’s approach.
Henry Eviston, spokesman on sustainable finance at WWF European Policy Office, said: “Short of digging an actual hole, the European Commission couldn’t have tried harder to bury this proposal. When the question was whether renewables are green, the Commission gave citizens three chances to provide their opinion. For fossil gas and nuclear, we get a document written behind closed doors and published on New Year’s Eve. If the EU is confident in this proposal, it must hold a public consultation.”
Last night was also the first time the Commission’s officially designated technical advisory group for the taxonomy - the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance - saw the draft proposal. WWF is a member of the Platform.
After months of delays, the Commission has now given the Platform just eight working days - until 12 January - to provide a formal response to this highly complex and controversial file. Most consultations in Brussels last for a minimum of four weeks.
Sebastien Godinot, Senior Economist at WWF European Policy Office, said: "As a member of the EU Platform, WWF will assess the draft criteria and help build recommendations for the Commission. We do hope that the Commission will ensure a meaningful Platform consultation and duly take the Platform’s comments into account when finalising the criteria."