Organisations call taxonomy “greenwashing”

A month after the European Commission approved the inclusion of fossil gas and nuclear energy into the EU taxonomy, 92 NGOs and CSOs, including BankTrack, have called on financial institutions to reject it, calling the system “greenwashing”.

An open letter notes that in the context of the war on Ukraine, there is a painful reminder that Western democracies need to eliminate their fossil fuel dependency to curb the influence of authoritarian regimes like Russia.

Nearly a hundred (92) NGOs and CSOs agree that the EU Commission’s “failure to deliver a science-based sustainable taxonomy” and ask financial institutions to publicly commit to exclude both fossil gas and nuclear energy from all their products and bonds marketed as sustainable, green, or responsible.

This notably entails excluding these energies from Article 9 funds, defined in the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) as a fund that has sustainable investment or a reduction in carbon emissions as its objective.

Nick Bryer,’s head of campaigns in Europe, says: “The EU knows perfectly well that financing new gas pipelines and power plants isn’t green or sustainable. For whatever reason, they’ve caved into pressure from fossil fuel industry lobbyists, who don’t want anything to stand in the way of their profits. That means we now have to look to banks and other finance institutions to show some leadership and make clear that you can invest in fossil gas, or you can invest sustainably – but you can’t do both.”

Both fossil gas and nuclear energy are excluded from several sustainable finance standards, including the upcoming ISO taxonomy, the Canadian governments’ green bond framework or the Greenfin label. Several financial institutions opposed the inclusion of both energies in the EU taxonomy and the IIGCC – an investor group made up of more than 370 institutions with more than $50tr of assets under management – raised its voice against gas.

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