Several NGOs, including Greenpeace and WWF, are taking legal action against new European Union rules, which will label investments in nuclear power plants and gas infrastructure as climate-friendly and sustainable from 1 January. Greenpeace itself speaks of “greenwashing”, the process whereby companies or organizations appear greener than they actually are. This was revealed in a statement Monday.

    “The European Commission decided to add these polluting technologies to the taxonomy in January this year, and the European Parliament voted no objection in July — despite widespread opposition from citizens, climate scientists, financial institutions and environmental organizations.” it sounds at Greenpeace.

    The Commission argued at the time that it is fully committed to renewable energy, but that gas and nuclear energy are in a transition phase to quickly get rid of extremely polluting sources such as coal and to meet energy needs. Moreover, she pointed out that the taxonomy only serves as a guide for private investors.

    Eight Greenpeace departments

    But nuclear energy and fossil gas do not belong on the European list of sustainable investments, according to the Belgian, German, French, Italian, Luxembourg, Spanish and Central and Eastern European departments of Greenpeace, as well as the EU department. They submitted a formal request for internal review to the Commission in September together with WWF, the European Federation for Transport and Environment, ClientEarth and Germany’s BUND.

    The inclusion of nuclear energy and fossil gas in the taxonomy — the classification system that guides investors and investors — violates “the Taxonomy Regulation, the European Climate Law and the EU’s obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement” , argues Greenpeace.

    The Commission can answer the request until February. “The Commission can agree with our arguments and withdraw the recent addition of gas and nuclear energy to the taxonomy. In the other case, Greenpeace will refer the matter to the European Court of Justice,” the departments said.

    “Dirty Green Label”

    “This dirty green label is not in line with EU environmental and climate legislation. Gas is a major source 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 Mathieu Soete, energy expert at Greenpeace Belgium. .

    A Greenpeace action to protest against the inclusion of gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy of the European Commission © Johanna de Tessières / Greenpeace

    “In addition, we will have an energy crisis this winter and people will struggle with their energy bills. It is vindictive that the people who caused the climate and energy crisis are the same ones who benefit — while most families are suffering. The European Commission is so cheerfully participating in the greenwashing of fossil gas and nuclear energy,” says Soete.

    Not all Member States are satisfied with the European Commission’s taxonomy, however. Austria, which is radically opposed to nuclear energy, has already announced proceedings at the European Court of Justice. Luxembourg will support that cause.

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