Briefings, Reports

Align the EU’s green taxonomy with the new geopolitical reality

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Emissions from a gas power plant in Bonn, Germany, set to be labeled as green by the EU Taxonomy.
Emissions from a gas power plant in Bonn, Germany, set to be labeled as green by the EU Taxonomy. Photo by Daniel Gimbel on Unsplash.

The European Commission has made clear with the ‘REPowerEU’ plan that the future of energy resilience in the European Union lies in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In this context, the proposal by the European Commission to label gas and nuclear as green technologies in the EU Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act runs counter to the EU’s policy shift.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen rapid rises in the prices of fossil fuels as countries scramble to replace Russian energy supply. The war has underpinned the need for accelerated energy transition in Europe and globally to clean and local sources. In April, the European Parliament called for a comprehensive embargo of Russian gas, oil, coal and nuclear fuel with an overwhelming majority of 519 MEPs in favour. In May, the European Commission has made clear with the ‘REPowerEU’ plan that the future of energy resilience in the European Union lies in renewable energy and energy efficiency. However, the decision to label nuclear and in particular gas as green investments in the EU Taxonomy is now clearly at odds with the overall direction the European Union is taking.

The EU Taxonomy delegated act fails to consider the severe energy security and investment risks associated with the EU’s exposure and over-reliance on gas and nuclear material imports, the impact on the cost of living on Europeans and the damage to Europe’s climate leadership and international credibility. The European Parliament must correct the EU’s course by vetoing the proposal.

This briefing paper explores:

  1. How the transition case for gas is now weak in the face of dependency and investment risks.
  2. How the transition status for nuclear power does not support energy security.
  3. Why the EU Taxonomy as it is would not help solve the cost-of-living crisis.
  4. The next steps to align the EU Taxonomy with the new geopolitical reality.

Read the full briefing paper on the EU Taxonomy here.

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