Sustainable investments, an “amber” category for gas in taxonomy

The new EU taxonomy on sustainable investments was presented on 2 February

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – European gas? It is not green but “amber“. The new European rules on sustainable investments must be changed. By entering an extra category. A sort of “limbo” that reflects the transition nature of certain energy sources. In this way, we can see, on the horizon, a moment when the energy transition will have to abandon.

It is the main recommendation that the European Platform for Sustainable Finance, a body composed of experts and stakeholders from different backgrounds (public, private, civil society, industry) gives to the European Commission to correct the shot on green taxonomy. The second delegated taxonomy act, published in early February, gave the green light to nuclear and gas. Thus directing the choices of finance and economic operators, as well as influencing the energy policy of the Twenty-seven. But on gas we must change course, says the advisory body.

According to the European Platform for Sustainable Finance, the problem is not gas as such. “There is no anti-gas position here. We just think that the criteria are not good enough,” explained Nathan Fabian, head of the Platform. The text adopted a little over 40 days ago, in fact, has been reworked to the last. And it is precisely the criteria for labeling a gas-fired power plant as sustainable that have been relaxed. Too much, explains Fabian: some plants are classified as green even if they have high emission levels.

For this reason, without disqualifying the gas as such, it is good to make an additional distinction. Today, the green taxonomy gives the license to gas-fired power stations in three different ways. All plants that emit less than 100gCO2e/kWh, without any time limit, are sustainable. Plants emitting less than 270gCO2e/kWh per year are also taxonomy. Or, the third criterion, sites that emit an annual average of less than 550gCO2e/kWh, calculated on a 20-year basis. The latter is “suspicious” because they must “keep their promises” only two decades after obtaining subsidized funding.

With an “amber” label, the European Sustainable Investment Classification System would have the “best option to describe multiple transitions on multiple environmental objectives for multiple economic sectors, which we must now embrace”, concluded Fabian.

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