Greenpeace takes legal action against EU ‘green’ label for gas and nuclear

European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 17, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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BRUSSELS, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Greenpeace and other environmental activists have launched legal challenges against the European Commission over its decision to include natural gas and nuclear power in the list of “green” investments in the EU. EU.

They argue the European Union violated its own climate laws by doing this, citing greenhouse gas emissions produced by gas-fired power plants, and say the move risks diverting investment to fossil fuels. instead of renewable energy.

Greenpeace said it called for an internal review of the Commission’s decision to label gas and nuclear power as green. Four other environmental groups – WWF, Friends of the Earth Germany, Transport & Environment and ClientEarth – focused on gas.

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The Commission said it would respond to requests in due course.

The focus is on the European Union’s ‘taxonomy’, a rulebook defining which investments can be labeled as climate-friendly and designed to guide investors towards green projects that will help meet emissions reduction targets of the block.

The Commission has until February to respond. If the Commission does not withdraw the rules, the groups have said they will take their cases to the European Court of Justice.

“Gas is one of the main causes of climate and economic chaos, while there is still no solution to the problem of radioactive nuclear waste and the risk of nuclear accidents is far too great to ignore” said Greenpeace activist Ariadna Rodrigo.

The Commission had excluded gas-fired power stations from its initial taxonomy proposal, but added them later, amid a fierce political debate between EU countries – which disagree on the issue of whether the fuel deserves a “green” label.

Brussels said it added “strict conditions” to the final rules for gasworks, including an emissions limit and an obligation to switch to low-carbon gases by 2035.

Representatives of five non-profit groups quit their roles advising the Commission on the taxonomy last week, citing the EU’s handling of gas and nuclear rules. Read more

Separately, Luxembourg and Austria, which both oppose nuclear power and have warned against labeling gas as green, are preparing a legal challenge to the EU rules.

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Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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