After more than a year of delaying the decision on whether or not to classify nuclear power and natural gas as ‘green’ energy sources, the European Commission got the green light from EU lawmakers, allowing it to add both to its sustainable finance taxonomy.
“This vote is important recognition of our pragmatic and realistic approach in helping many member states on their transition path towards climate neutrality,” the European Commission said in a statement, after the European Parliament voted 328–278 in favour of the Complementary Delegated Act, which allowed both energy sources to be classified as green.
“We are committed to using all available tools to move away from high carbon-emitting energy sources,” it added.
Critics, however, see this as prolonging the use of natural gas, which is cleaner only when compared with coal, and therefore at odds with the EU’s stated objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. It’s also more likely to facilitate greenwashing, which the EU Taxonomy was intended to prevent.