Nuclear, gas labeled ‘green’?


The European Commission is poised to make a decision that would classify nuclear power and fossil gas as ‘sustainable investments’ under the EU ‘taxonomy.’ Countries such as Germany have vociferously objected to this and now the World Wildlife Fund has exposed the backroom deal that may ensure the public has no voice in opposing this move — which would free up massive funding for both polluting industries in the name of climate change. 

What exactly is the EU taxonomy? Here is an explanation from the European Union. 

“The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. It could play an important role helping the EU scale up sustainable investment and implement the European green deal. The EU taxonomy would provide companies, investors and policymakers with appropriate definitions for which economic activities can be considered environmentally sustainable. In this way, it should create security for investors, protect private investors from greenwashing, help companies to become more climate-friendly, mitigate market fragmentation and help shift investments where they are most needed.”

Usually, public consultations on EU Commission decisions are held, lasting as long as four weeks. But, the Commission’s officially designated technical advisory group for the taxonomy — the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance — of which WWF is a member, has been given just eight working days to review the recommendation that would classify nuclear and gas effectively as ‘green.’ There will be no public consultation.

“When the question was whether renewables are green, the Commission gave citizens three chances to provide their opinion,” said a WWF spokesperson. “For fossil gas and nuclear, we get a document written behind closed doors and published on New Year’s Eve.”

(Headline photo of German anti-nuclear protest in Munich by Janericloebe/Wikimedia Commons)

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