EU Lawmakers reject nuclear and gas for green taxonomy 

June 16, 2022

Objection of nuclear and gas from EU green investment taxonomy

Members of the European Parliament have supported an objection to ensure nuclear and gas is kept out of the EU’s green investment taxonomy. 

The objection had been supported via 76 to 64 votes meaning that both gas and nuclear energy could be left out of Europe’s green investment classification system as it eyes net zero emissions by 2050. 

Despite being objected to, MEPs recognised the role nuclear and fossil gas could have in instigating the energy transition to sustainable practices.  

However, the technical screening standards proposed by the Commission, to support its inclusion, do not respect the criteria for environmentally sustainable economic activities.  

It has also been reported that the inclusion of both nuclear and gas within the taxonomy had been met with strong resistance from member states such as Austria and Luxembourg which both threatened legal action against the proposal.  

The resolution adopted by MEPs requests that any new or amended delegated acts should be subject to a public consultation and impact assessments, as they could have significant economic, environmental and social impacts. 

The taxonomy regulation is part of the Commission’s action plan on financing sustainable growth and aims to boost green investments and prevent ‘greenwashing’. It could be key in accelerating the transition to net zero emissions across a range of sectors. 

Member states are free to decide on their energy mix and investors may continue to invest as they wish, as there is no obligation on investors to invest solely in economic activities that meet specific criteria.  

The new Delegated Act classifies certain fossil gas and nuclear energy activities as transitional activities contributing to climate change mitigation under the taxonomy regulation. The inclusion of certain gas and nuclear activities would be time-limited and dependent on specific conditions and transparency requirements. 

The vote on the resolution is scheduled for early July, and the Parliament and Council have until July 11 to decide whether to veto the Commission’s proposal. 

Last Updated: 17 June 2022