A majority of EU citizens don’t want the EU to label fossil gas and nuclear power as green

Posted on 23 June 2022

EU citizens are not backing up the EU plan to label fossil gas and nuclear plants as environmentally sustainable.
A new survey shows that only 29% of citizens think that the European Union should classify nuclear power as environmentally sustainable. For fossil gas, only 35% believe that the EU should give this energy source a green label. (1) This is in sharp contrast with solar (92%) and wind energy (88%).

This survey commissioned by WWF finds that a majority of European citizens don’t think fossil gas and nuclear power are ‘green’.

“There is simply no public support for the Commission’s plan to greenwash fossil gas and nuclear plants. What citizens massively support as ‘green’ is solar and wind, not dirty obsolete fuels. We call on MEPs to listen to their constituency and block this proposal." said Sebastien Godinot, Senior Economist at WWF European Policy Office.

The survey also shows how the war in Ukraine influenced citizens’ opinions on the energy transition: 60% said that the war in Ukraine means the European Union should speed up its plans to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

In the first week of July, the Parliament’s plenary could classify nuclear power and fossil gas as ‘sustainable’ - or block the proposal and follow the Economic and Environment Committees’ decision of 14 June. More specifically, the EU is about to sign off on a list of ‘green’ investments as part of its new investment guidebook, the EU Taxonomy. As a consequence, billions of euros will be diverted away from wind, solar, and other green technologies to fossil gas and nuclear power. If MEPs fail to reject the greenwashed Taxonomy Act, it will pass into EU law. 

Notes to editors

(1) The survey was conducted by Savanta ComRes. The survey was answered by 8125 citizens in 8 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria)

Please contact us to get access to the national results.


Contact:

Ines Abbas 
Communications Officer
iabbas@wwf.eu 
+32 488 99 27 65