United call for a gold-standard green taxonomy

Photo of a natural gas exploration rig via Unsplash by Emmaus Studio.
Photo of a natural gas exploration rig via Unsplash by Emmaus Studio.

E3G, on behalf of 60 leaders across academia, NGOs, and think tanks, sent a letter to the UK Prime Minister calling for the publication of the UK green taxonomy consultation, and emphasizing the importance of keeping natural gas incompatible with a 1.5℃ degree pathway.

The UK Green Taxonomy is crucial for mobilising investment towards net zero activities needed to transition the UK away from fossil fuel dependence.  

Signatories were alarmed to see recent media reports suggesting the possibility of the inclusion of natural gas production as a ‘green’ economic activity within the UK green taxonomy and urge the government to keep natural gas out of the taxonomy. Labelling natural gas as ‘green’ is not compatible with a 1.5-degree pathway and would send damaging signals to the market and investors; reverting much of the UK’s progress to align the financial sector with net zero. 

Signatories also urged the government to publish the taxonomy consultation, which had been due in the spring, and to maintain a science-based approach to defining ‘green’.  

Read the letter here.

The letter is signed by:  

Shane Tomlinson, Acting CEO, E3G

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK 

Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, Tyndall Centre – University of Manchester 

Jamie Audsley, Head of Future Nature, RSPB 

Dr Elizabeth Baldwin, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oxford 

John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy & Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action, Queen’s University Belfast 

Polly Billington, CEO, UK100 

Fran Boait, Executive Director, Positive Money 

Dr. Jean Boucher, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University 

Dr. Christian Brand, Associate Professor in Transport, Energy & Environment, University of Oxford 

Dr. Matthew Brander, Senior Lecturer in Carbon Accounting, University of Edinburgh 

Oliver Broad, Senior Research Fellow, Energy Systems Analysis, University College London 

Tony Burdon, CEO, Make My Money Matter 

Dr Isabela Butnar, Senior Research Fellow in Bioenergy Systems, University College London 

Dr Ben Caldecott, Director, UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (UK CGFI) and Director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and the Lombard Odier Associate Professor of Sustainable Finance, University of Oxford 

David Cowdrey, External Affairs Director, MCS Foundation 

Dr. Emily Cox, Research Associate, University of Oxford & Cardiff University 

Dr Elizabeth Cripps, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Morgan Currie, Lecturer, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh 

Dr. James Dixon, Oxford University Centre for Environment 

Maria-Krystyna Duval, Director of Climate and Energy, ClientEarth 

Professor Paul Ekins OBE, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources 

Daniel Friedrich, Chair of Energy Systems, University of Edinburgh 

Oliver Greenfield, Convenor, Green Economy Coalition 

Jesse Griffiths, CEO, Finance Innovation Lab 

Danny Gross, Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland 

Dr Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin, Research & Campaigns Manager, MCS Foundation 

Louise Hazan, Co-Founder, Tipping Point 

Dr. Sarah Higginson, Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions 

David Hillman, Director, Stamp Out Poverty 

Catherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction 

Dr Rachel Howell, Lecturer in Sustainable Development, University of Edinburgh 

Charlotte Howell-Jones, Climate Organiser, Parents for Future UK 

David Ingram, Chair of Computational Fluid Dynamics, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Kirsten Jenkins, Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society, University of Edinburgh 

Tessa Khan, Director, Uplift 

Chaitanya Kumar, Head of Environment and Green Transition, New Economics Foundation 

Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University 

Professor Mark Maslin, Zero Hour ambassador, Earth Systems Science University College London   

David Murray, Executive Director, Sustainability First 

Leo Murray, Co-director, Possible 

Peter Newell, Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex 

Dr Doug Parr, Policy Director, Greenpeace UK 

Catherine Pettengell, Director, Climate Action Network UK (CAN-UK) 

Dr James Price, Senior Research Fellow, UCL Energy Institute, University College London 

Dr Colin Pritchard, Hon. Fellow, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Steve Pye, Associate Professor in Energy Systems, University College London 

Prof. Dave Reay, Director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, University of Edinburgh 

Prof. Neil Robertson, University of Edinburgh 

Roc Sandford, Director, Ocean Rebellion 

Dr Simon Sneddon, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Northampton 

Shaun Spiers, Executive Director, Green Alliance 

Philip Steadman, Emeritus Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies and Research Fellow, University College London 

Professor Richard Templer, August von Hofmann Professor of Chemistry and Director of Innovation, the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London 

James Vaccaro, Executive Director, Climate Safe Lending Network 

Rick Van der Ploeg, Professor of Economics, University of Oxford 

Dr Gil Viry, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Edinburgh 

Prof. Janette Webb MBE FEI, University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science 

Katie White, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, WWF 

Charlie Wilson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford 

Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader, Global Witness 


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