Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear and gas in EU taxonomy slammed as ‘greenwashing’, 


Nuclear and gas in EU taxonomy slammed as ‘greenwashing’,   

  • The controversial decision to include gas and nuclear in the EU’s taxonomy was the outcome of a lengthy and highly-politicised process    EU Observer By ELENA SÁNCHEZ NICOLÁS BRUSSELS, 14 Apr 22,  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and EU plans to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil-fuel imports, have raised more questions over the fate of the European Commission’s controversial taxonomy proposal.

EU member states were already split over the role of gas and nuclear in the energy transition and, thus, in green finance — even before the war in Ukraine……….

Critics say the proposal undermines the credibility of the EU taxonomy as a science-based investment tool, gives credence to claims of greenwashing, creates confusion in financial markets, and will cause major delays in the much-needed transition away from fossil fuels.

The taxonomy does not ban outright investment in activities not included in the guidelines — but it is designed to steer investments away from companies and investors which falsely claim to be environmentally sustainable.

‘Gold standard’ gone

Experts have warned that including natural gas (with a higher threshold than the one recommended by experts) and nuclear power in the EU’s sustainable finance rules may lead to further greenwashing in financial markets.

University College Dublin professor Andreas Hoepner, who has been one of those leading academic opposition on the taxonomy, describes it as probably “the biggest greenwash ever.”

The proposal, he said, ignores rigorous scientific analysis and weakens the credibility of the whole EU sustainable finance agenda. And it may even lead to an increase in emissions incompatible with the Fit-for-55 package and the EU’s climate targets.

The rules were meant to create common standards for classifying taxonomy-aligned economic activities as environmentally sustainable.

But Laurence Tubiana, one of the key architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement, has warned that investors may go elsewhere to seek more “more reliable science-based criteria” to classify their investments.

“The whole idea of creating a ‘gold standard’ is gone” with gas and nuclear power included in the EU taxonomy, Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout told EUobserver in an interview.

With the credibility of the whole taxonomy hanging by a thread, Eickhout warned of the impact on green bonds, given that funds raised from these bonds could be used for gas and nuclear projects. The transition towards net-zero emissions will require massive investment, but not enough money is currently going into projects delivering climate neutrality, he said.

“If we now lower the standard in order to mobilise the money, then we are still fooling ourselves,” he said, because the taxonomy must be “a credible standard” to fulfil its goal…………………..

“The EU should rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, fossil-fuel investments and subsidies to deliver climate stability,” added Ursula Woodburn from the UK’s cross-sector group of business leaders, CLG Europe,

The decision to include gas and nuclear in the taxonomy was slammed as the outcome of a both lengthy and highly-politicised process.

But the European Commission has also come under fire for looking at this tool purely through a domestic prism — despite its impact beyond EU borders.  https://euobserver.com/war-peace-green-economy/154585

April 14, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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