MEPs vote to allow gas and nuclear investments to be labelled as green

MEPs vote to allow gas and nuclear investments to be labelled as green
Press conference on taxonomy's delegated act on nuclear and gas. Credit: European Parliament

MEPs voted on the Commission's Taxonomy regulation, a list which will classify sustainable economic activities, on Wednesday. The vote cements gas and nuclear activities as part of a list of environmentally sustainable activities, despite a motion from lawmakers who opposed the bill.

"Natural gas is a fossil fuel, it's neither sustainable nor green," said Finnish MEP Sylvia Modig from The Left group at a press conference on Tuesday together with other MEPs who opposed the proposal.

When asked if opposing the classification would inhibit countries from making nuclear or gas investments, Modig insisted it was about labelling.

"Member States can make their own energy decisions. It is best to make them sustainable, but it doesn't prohibit anything."

Absolute majority not achieved

An absolute majority of of 353 MEPs was needed to reject the Commission's proposal, which was not reached. 278 MEPs voted in favour of the resolution, 328 against and 33 abstained.

If the Council does not reject the proposal by 11 July, the Taxonomy Delegated Act will enter into force and apply by 1 January 2023.

The move comes as part of the Commission's green deal to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050, while boosting green investments and preventing 'greenwashing' with the proposal.

However, Dutch Greens MEP Bas Eickhout warned that there would be global consequences to the label.

"We are pretending to lead the world in climate action, but if we label fossil fuels as green, we can't ask other countries" to do what we cannot.

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