In February, the Commission included gas and nuclear in green taxonomy
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – The European Commission has politically interfered in the work of the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, the expert platform that advises Brussels on sustainable finance. And in the last year, he’s been working on technical recommendations for green taxonomy. So, five NGOs are slamming doors. These are the WWF, Transport & Environment, Birdlife, BEUC and ECOS.
The main reason, the NGOs explain, is the lack of independence that the platform will have in the coming months.
“We understand that the Commission intends to limit the mandate of the Platform by requiring it to focus mainly on the implementation of the current criteria. This could eliminate any opportunity for the Platform to follow up its independent recommendations on expanding taxonomy beyond sustainable activities or to cover social issues”, they explain in their letter to Commissioner Mairead McGuiness. The associations also fear that the European executive will change the composition of the platform by inserting new names that would make it “more politicized“.
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In February, the Commission included gas and nuclear energy in the green taxonomy, despite the contrary view of the Sustainable Finance Platform and other advisory bodies. This choice remains controversial even among the 27, especially because it gives gas a role of transition energy and jeopardises the achievement of the EU’s climate objectives.
On this point, the associations consider that the Commission has not acted in accordance with the mandate of the Platform. The EU executive “has repeatedly ignored the recommendations of its expert group, in particular regarding forestry, bioenergy, gas and nuclear energy, without providing any solid scientific justification for these decisions. This is despite the explicit requirement of art. 19 of the regulation on the taxonomy of criteria based on “conclusive scientific evidence”.
“EU taxonomy was to be a tool to combat greenwashing. Instead, it has become a dangerous greenwashing tool, with incentives for fossil gas, biogas and indiscriminate deforestation and forest fires”, accuses Luca Bonaccorsi, Director of Sustainable Finance of T&E. “After years of trying to build it, now is the time to campaign to convince investors not to follow it”.