PRESS RELEASE: EU taxonomy: MEPs debate sustainability label for natural gas and nuclear power
The European Parliament’s committees responsible for EU taxonomy are debating the European Commission’s proposal for the second Delegated Act on EU taxonomy this morning from 11 am to 12 pm. The European Commission proposes to classify nuclear power and natural gas as sustainable transition technologies under the EU Taxonomy Regulation for Sustainable Investment from 2023.
The debate of the MEPs of the Economic and Environmental Committee can be followed live:
Energy expert of the Greens in the European Parliament, Jutta Paulus, member of the Environment Committee, substitute member of the Industry Committee of the European Parliament, comments:
„The European Parliament and the EU member states must firmly reject the Commission’s proposal for the sustainable classification of natural gas and nuclear power in the EU taxonomy. The terrible war of aggression on Ukraine must be a reminder to us to end our dependence on energy imports as soon as possible. Energy security in Europe will not be achieved with gas and uranium from Russia, but only with renewable energies and a massive expansion of energy efficiency. Investments in natural gas and nuclear power will prevent Europe from becoming energy-independent and achieving its climate targets.”
The EU Taxonomy is a regulation binding on all EU member states that defines criteria for sustainable investments. As no agreement could be reached on the role of natural gas and nuclear power during the negotiations on the Taxonomy Regulation, clarification of these points was postponed and the European Commission was asked to submit a Delegated Act based on scientific findings.
Central to the EU taxonomy is the principle of “do no significant harm.” Accordingly, whether an investment is sustainable depends on whether the technology in question can cause significant harm.
The second Delegated Act submitted by the Commission cannot be amended, but can only be rejected in its entirety by the EU Member States or the European Parliament.
In its decision, the European Commission has disregarded the consequences of possible nuclear accidents and uranium mining.
Article 10 of the Taxonomy Regulation excludes the sole avoidance of CO2 emissions, i.e. mere climate neutrality, for a sustainable classification. In addition to climate neutrality, other categories of green activities must also be fulfilled. These categories are already part of the Taxonomy Regulation and cannot be extended. Regarding the contribution of nuclear power and gas to these categories, several references are made to an appendix that is not yet available.