Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission is not planning to change the proposed classification of some natural gas and nuclear projects as green.
Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services, and the Capital Markets Union, noted on Wednesday that the EC will not change its proposal despite objections, Reuters reports.
The Commission classified some gas and nuclear projects as green in its proposed sustainable finance taxonomy presented at the end of last year. The move is a part of its green push aimed at moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy.
“We may be able to tweak the proposal in one place or another to address some objections,” she noted in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and added “but we actually have limited room for manoeuvre.”
Robert Habeck, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of the German Greens, stated earlier this week that the German government should vote against the proposal unless the Commission removes nuclear energy projects from the list of green investments.
EU split on the issue
Germany and other EU member states stressed during the discussion on EC’s sustainable finance taxonomy that natural gas projects are necessary for their transition away from coal.
Critics added that placing some natural gas projects on the list of green investments would undermine the EU’s credibility as a leader in the fight against climate change.
The Czech Republic, France and Poland are among the most vocal EU member states that support the inclusion of nuclear energy in the green transition mix, pointing out that generating electricity from nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gasses.
On the other hand, Germany, Austria and Luxembourg oppose the inclusion of nuclear, citing fears about management of nuclear waste.
Germany’s coalition government is divided when it comes to the use of nuclear energy. The three ruling parties failed to reach an agreement on the EC’s taxonomy and did not touch the issue when they presented their coalition deal at the end of last year.
McGuinness pointed out that natural gas and nuclear energy are necessary stepping stones on the path to a “cleaner, better future,” concluding that “as such they will be clearly labelled.”