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EU’s green label for gas, nuclear under fresh legal attack
Taxonomy

EU’s green label for gas, nuclear under fresh legal attack

19.09.2022
Environmental organisations demand review of decision, after Luxembourg and Austria announced legal action in summer
The Cattenom nuclear energy plant in France
The Cattenom nuclear energy plant in France
Photo credit: Guy Wolff

Greenpeace and a raft of other environment groups have issued the European Union with an ultimatum over its decision to grant some gas and nuclear power stations a “fake” green label under the bloc’s sustainable finance rules.

Eight Greenpeace organisations across Europe, as well as non-profits ClientEarth, WWF, Transport & Environment and BUND have demanded a review of the decision to include gas and nuclear power in the EU’s green rulebook, known as the taxonomy. 

The European Commission has until February to reply, or the groups said Monday they will take the case to the European Court of Justice.

“Gas is a leading cause of climate and economic chaos, while there is still no solution to the problem of nuclear radioactive waste and the risk of nuclear accidents is far too significant to ignore,” said Ariadna Rodrigo, EU sustainable finance campaigner at Greenpeace. “This fake green label is incompatible with EU environment and climate laws.”

The complaint is that channelling money to gas projects - albeit with strict conditions attached - is not compatible with the EU’s climate neutrality goal, which is enshrined into law, and the Paris Agreement. 

The NGOs argue that it will take money away from renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar. Greenpeace highlighted the waste from nuclear power, as well as the long-time to construct new facilities.

Last week, five non-profits announced they would leave the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, which provides technical advice to the EU Commission in protest over the taxonomy. 

Austria and Luxembourg are also in the process of taking legal action against the decision, which will enter into force in the New Year after a last-ditch vote on an objection in the European Parliament in July was rejected. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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