With the inclusion of gas and nuclear power in the European taxonomy for sustainable investments, the EU Commission has made a bad compromise. The attempt by the European Parliament to prevent this failed.
At midday, Parliament decided to include gas and nuclear power in the planned rules on the taxonomy – and thus to award these energy sources an eco-label. From 2023, the taxonomy should allow certain investments on the financial market to be marketed as sustainable.
The Commission had previously created the taxonomy as a so-called delegated act; Parliament only has a right of veto in this procedure. The opponents of the project clearly missed the necessary 353 votes.
This means that the years of work on the detailed regulations are in vain. The reason for this was the French’s need to raise money to repair their ailing nuclear power plants. Germany, in turn, pushed through gas as a fuel for the transition.
However, nuclear power cannot be sustainable because of the still unclear disposal of the radioactive waste. It is not gas because of the climate effect. Due to the constant slippage of the strong greenhouse gas in the production chain, it is no better than coal.
Savers are unlikely to buy green funds with gas and nuclear companies in their portfolios, and large investors will keep their hands off the taxonomy. The EU has thus missed a great opportunity to redirect international financial flows towards clean energies.
The vote in the European Parliament is symptomatic of our actions in the climate crisis. We hesitantly pull the brakes and continue to roll towards the catastrophe. Now all that remains is to go to the European Court of Justice. The Greens have already announced a lawsuit.
Because the Commission is not allowed to change any essential aspects of the underlying laws in a delegated act – this was voted on in Parliament on Wednesday. Experts see good chances of stopping the fraudulent labeling in this way.