Massive blow to EU’s climate objectives after Parliament succumbs to greenwashing lobby adding gas and nuclear in the Taxonomy

Energy transition| Financing the transition

  • European and Ukrainian citizens don’t want a greenwashed Taxonomy 
  • Legal action to prove incompatibility of labelling gas and nuclear as green in Taxonomy with the EU’s climate laws 
  • Financial community calls out fake green obsession “utter nonsense”

Strasbourg, 6 July 2022 – Today, the European Parliament voted in favour (278/328/33) of the Commission’s proposal to classify fossil gas and nuclear power as green activities in the Taxonomy. Unfortunately an absolute majority to support the objection was out of reach but increasing pressure and awareness raising by civil society resulted in almost 40% of the plenary rejecting greenwashing and echoing the recent victory in the ECON/ENVI committee.  

The voting result today is a significant blow to the EU’s credibility as a climate leader and in contradiction to the Paris Agreement. However citizens have shown their teeth and could only be stopped by last minute intervention most probably steered by the nuclear industry and those who would profit most from these new rules, namely France,” Esther Bollendorff, CAN Europe’s Gas Policy Expert.   

Classifying fossil gas and nuclear power as green is a climate disaster fuelling human right violations, as it will increase gas and uranium demand and imports. Not only civil society with large citizens groups, Ukrainian MPs and scientists were mobilised against this Taxonomy, the financial community itself also considers the fake green label obsession as “utter nonsense“. 

“The green Taxonomy was supposed to be a fundamental tool for aligning private financial flows with ambitious climate and biodiversity targets, and shift finance away from fossil fuels and nature damaging energy sources such as nuclear. Today’s decision is a betrayal to millions of European citizens wanting to invest their savings into sustainable activities and willing to contribute to accelerate the Union’s energy transition.” Olivier Vardakoulias, CAN Europe’s Finance and Subsidies Expert.  

The Commission’s proposal was supported by some Member States which want to protect their national energy mix. Ironically, only a few EU countries will benefit from it. Instead of providing guidance to countries for genuine green and sustainable activities which would help the energy transition we’re set to achieve, the greenwashed Taxonomy will only abuse citizens’ trust.

“The European Parliament lost another opportunity to sit on the right side of history: instead of providing brave, consistent decisions to stop funding fossil fuels, including from Russia, and addressing the energy crisis we are facing, the European Parliament chose to follow fossil fuel lobbies and voted for business as usual.” Chiara Martinelli, CAN Europe’s Director. 

But this is not the end: a growing number of Member States (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) and a large group of MEPs voiced their disagreement today. Member States and Civil Society Organisations will challenge this decision in court to prove labelling fossil gas and nuclear as green under the Taxonomy is incompatible with science and the EU’s climate laws.

ENDS

 

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