Two leading committees of the European Parliament have objected to adding nuclear and natural gas to the list of “green” technologies covered by the EU taxonomy—the classification system used by the European Union to guide private investment toward environmentally sustainable economic projects.
In a joint meeting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety Committee yesterday, lawmakers voted 76 to 62 (with four abstentions) in favor of a resolution objecting to the European Commission’s proposed Complementary Climate Delegated Act. Adopted by the EC earlier this year, the CDA would include nuclear and gas in the taxonomy, albeit under “clear and strict conditions.” (An earlier version of the CDA, adopted by the EC in June 2021, had failed to list either nuclear or gas among its sustainable projects, but on January 1 of this year, the commission released a draft proposal calling for the inclusion of both technologies, characterizing their roles as “transitional.” The final CDA is a slightly tweaked version of the draft.)
The objection: According to a parliament news release, while the legislators “recognize the role of nuclear and fossil gas in guaranteeing a stable energy supply during the transition to a sustainable economy,” they find that the CDA’s technical screening standards for supporting their inclusion “do not respect the criteria for environmentally sustainable economic activities as set out in Article 3 of the Taxonomy Regulation.”
The committees are also requesting “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 release stated.
Next: The resolution is scheduled for a vote during the parliament’s plenary session of July 4–7. An absolute majority (353 votes out of a total of 705) will be required to reject the resolution. In addition, the parliament and European Council have until July 11 to decide the fate of the CDA.