Brussels (Brussels Morning) Because member states cannot agree among themselves, the EU plans delaying the classification of gas projects within its green finance framework, which is due for release next week, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The European Commission is to release the first part of the sustainable finance taxonomy on 21 April, which will set out the rules determining which projects can be labelled as green.
Among the most contentious issues is whether any natural gas projects should be classified as green. EU member states are divided on the issue.
Lack of agreement
While some say classifying any gas projects as green would be unacceptable, other bloc members stress that gas has a key role to play in their transition away from coal.
Several proposals have failed to bridge the divide, hence the EC’s move to delay the decision on gas.
According to an EC document earlier this month, the Commission plans to issue a report in the final quarter of the year that will address “how certain economic activities, primarily in the energy sector, contribute to decarbonisation.”
That proposal, it is believed, would make a transparent debate possible between EU member states and in the EU Parliament about the precise role of natural gas in the green transition.
Proposal also to address nuclear energy
Besides natural gas, the proposal will address the role of nuclear energy, which bloc members also disagree on.
The EC did not comment on the draft, but a representative stressed that coming rules must support the push for sustainability, adding that “our work is based on robust, science-based, technical criteria”.
The bloc’s plan is to make sustainable investments more visible to investors and to support such projects by shifting capital away from other projects.While gas-fired power plants produce far less CO2 compared to coal, gas pipelines can leak methane, which is a greenhouse gas.