EU Commisson criticized for classifying nuclear and natural gas as green

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European Commission
© Guillaume Périgois

Today the European Commission presented a Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation covering certain gas and nuclear activities (refer also to more articles “nuclear” on investESG.eu).

A number of NGOs and experts expressed their critical voice, among them WWF. As reported by Responsible Investor: “More broadly, the Commission rejected a warning by the independent expert group the Platform on Sustainable Finance that considering gas and nuclear sustainable poses ‘a serious risk … undermining the sustainable Taxonomy framework’.”

EU undermines leading role

The question is if ignoring expert advice and moving in this direction will undermine the EU’s leading role in sustainabilty regulation and the taxonomy as a whole. A number of other countries referenced their taxonomy to the EU taxonomy and it will be seen if they have to adapt.

Multiple standards ex nuclear and natural gas?

Different standards might develop in the marketplace as investors will still be free to select investments based on their own criteria.

Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner in charge of Financial Services, Financial Stability, and Capital Markets Union: “… And we are boosting market transparency so that investors will be able to easily identify gas and nuclear activities in any investment decisions.”

Where is the Gold Standard?

Countries like UK or China now have the opportunity to adapt and create a global gold standard which might receive more acceptance by investors who follow the recommendation of the  Platform on Sustainable Finance and other experts. New labels ex nuclear and ex natural gas could be developed.

Is the Green Deal in danger? The EU provides this definition: “The European Green Deal is Europe’s growth strategy that aims to improve the well-being and health of citizens, make Europe climate-neutral by 2050 and protect, conserve and enhance the EU’s natural capital and biodiversity.”

 

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