EU advisors reject green label for natural gas: press
Experts advising the EU on its green investment rules disapprove of draft plans to label natural gas and nuclear energy as sustainable, Reuters reported January 21.
In a feedback document about the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy delivered to the European Commission, advisors want to scrap the taxonomy’s proposals for gas plants, saying they will fail to significantly fight climate change.
The EU draft plan was issued on January 1 with a list of economic activities and the environmental criteria to be labelled as green investments. The intent was to limit the overstatement of eco-friendly credentials or “greenwashing”.
The current proposal would grant gas plants a green label until 2030 if they meet criteria including an emissions limit of 270g of CO2-equivalent (CO2-e)/kWh, or if their annual emissions average 550kg CO2-e/kWh or less over 20 years.
Advisors propose that only gas plants with an intensity of 100g CO2-e/kWh or lower should be deemed climate-friendly, the Reuters report said. To meet these criteria, most gas plants in operation today would need to use carbon abatement or capture technology to comply. Concerns about nuclear waste were also stated.
Some EU states, including France, are in favour of nuclear, while some eastern and central European countries say gas is necessary to transition from more polluting coal plants.
Spain, Denmark, Austria and Luxembourg sent a letter to the commission urging it not to label gas and nuclear power as green on January 20.