Predicted battle for EU taxonomy kicks off

What is ‘green’? the whole point of the EU’s green taxonomy was to create agreed definitions, but nation interests have made this a battleground.

France, that likes nuclear power, has stuck to the line that it is ‘green’ as it is low carbon, Germany, that likes gas but doesn’t like nuclear, has likewise decided that natural gas can be a good ‘transition’ fuel as so is green. Investors, for whom the taxonomy was designed, might be scratching their heads.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, who is from the Green Party which is needed to shore up the coalition in Germany, was critical of the EC proposal noting that spent fuel cannot really be called sustainable. Gas, however, seems fine. From Paris nuclear is central to energy independence, something that Germany will be leaving in the hands of Russia.

The fight is ironic, given the original idea of the proposals was to create a labelling system stop “greenwashing,” and make genuinely sustainable investing more attractive to private capital, the new proposals have already been slated as greenwashing themselves.

Both Paris and Berlin have supporters within the EU – again often dictated by domestic energy policies and geo-political alliances, and a recent plan has been to allow both natural gas and nuclear power as ‘transitional green energy sources’. This ‘middle-way’ might be a solution to the impasse but will win few friends from the more ecologically minded.

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