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EU Commission calls for gas to be labelled as ‘green’

Gas power and nuclear energy should be labeled ‘green’ investments, the European Commission announced late on New Year’s Eve. 

The draft Act was published at 10 pm on New Year’s Eve with a deadline for comments by the technical expert group set for 12 January. 

Campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) has criticised this move as a clear attempt to minimise media reactions and proper scrutiny. 

The green finance rules determine which economic activities are labeled as environmentally sustainable in order to direct investments into those activities. 

T&E says that the inclusion of gas goes against the advice of the technical expert group set up by the Commission, and contradicts the conclusions of a number of scientific studies. 

black tower under gray sky

A new gas plant, for example, would be declared ‘green’ on the basis of a promise that over the course of 20 years, annual greenhouse gas emissions average only 550kgCO2e per KW installed. 

T&E and a coalition of green NGOs, including WWF and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, have called on banks to publicly distance themselves from the Act, which puts them at risk of stranded carbon assets and public condemnation.

Paul Bell, senior director of communications at T&E, said: ‘This Act goes against the goals set out in the EU’s Green Deal. With trillions of euros authorised to finance gas and bioenergy, we can say goodbye to the EU’s green finance agenda, and the Union’s sustainable future. The Parliament and Council must now act to stop this.

‘Gas is a fossil fuel. The Parliament and Council must do all in their power to leave fossil fuels in the ground. The Act, buried by the Commission until the very last minute, won’t even undergo public consultation and is being sped through without any type of scrutiny. It is a disaster in merit and method.’

 

 

 

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