Europe describes nuclear and natural gas as sustainable investments.
A draft plan, released by the commission on December 31, drew widespread criticism from some member countries, experts and lawmakers, who said the consultation period was too short and criticized the timing of the publication during a holiday period. . To add to the confusion surrounding the new rules, the commission did not publish the final legislative act until an hour after a press conference on the subject began.
The Sustainable Finance Platform, a group of green finance experts that advised the commission, opposed the plan.
“The taxonomy was meant to create a steady stream of green investments,” said Henry Eviston of the Wild World Fund Europe office, who was part of the advisory group. “Instead, we are going to have a tsunami of greenwashing. It penalizes clean technologies, it will stifle innovation and direct billions of euros towards investments in “business as usual”. »
And some investors and financial institutions may avoid classifications. European Investment Bank chief Werner Hoyer said last week that the complexity of the rules would make investors “drowsy”.
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, an association of European asset managers and investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, said in an open letter that the inclusion of natural gas undermines “the EU’s climate change ambitions.” set the international benchmark for credible, science-based standards for classifying sustainable economic activities.
The settlement should not be blocked by a sufficient number of national governments – under the bloc’s rules, at least 15 of the 27 member states, representing at least 65% of the EU’s population, would be needed to stop it. But Austria and Luxembourg have threatened legal action if nuclear power is labeled green. Earlier this week, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands urged the commission not to include any “fossil gas-based activity” as sustainable.
The plan is also expected to face resistance in the European Parliament, although it is unclear whether a majority of the body’s lawmakers would vote to block it.