Title: EU's green gas and nuclear investment rules head for final vote
Jul 05, 2022 01:27AM ET
The EU's plan to label investments in gas and nuclear power plants as climate-friendly faces a final vote Wednesday as European lawmakers decide whether to approve or reject the proposals that have divided governments and investors.
The vote is the final hurdle in the European Union's long-delayed decision on whether to include the two energy sources in its "taxonomy," a set of rules that determines which investments can be marketed as sustainable in Europe.
The rules are intended to channel private capital into truly green projects and set a European standard for sustainable investments, as well as weed out greenwashing among the myriad so-called environmentally friendly products on the market.
But the debate over investments that can be marketed as green has evolved into a broader political argument over which energy sources Europe should invest in to combat climate change and replace Russian gas.
EU lawmakers will debate gas and nuclear rules Tuesday and vote Wednesday in a vote that officials say will be very close. A majority of the European Parliament's 705 members must vote against the proposal to block it.
Green MEP Bas Eickhout said the EU proposal artificially incentivizes investment in nuclear power and gas, a fossil fuel, at the expense of renewables needed to rapidly curb greenhouse gas emissions.
European People's Party lawmaker Christian Ehler said the taxonomy's impact on future investments was not yet clear, but he said strict limits on CO2 emissions and other criteria would ensure that investments in gas-fired power plants were consistent with climate goals.
A rejection would be a setback for the European Commission, which has spent more than a year rewriting the rules amid intense lobbying from governments and the gas and nuclear industries.
Brussels says gas and nuclear plants must meet strict conditions to receive a green label.