Updated Wednesday July 13: ChemSec has now officially resigned from participation in the Taxonomy working group.
Today, the EU Parliament voted on the new taxonomy for sustainable investments, which is meant to provide a common language for what activities are sustainable and which are not. Unfortunately, the Parliament vote rendered support for nuclear energy and gas to be included in the taxonomy and thereby viewed as sustainable.
“This is a significant setback for achieving the goals set out in the EU Green Deal as it will direct sustainable investments into fossil and nuclear infrastructure. It will also seriously undermine the reputation of the Taxonomy as a tool for classifying sustainable economic activities”, says Sonja Haider, ChemSec’s representative in the Taxonomy working group.
To date, nuclear and gas activities have been excluded by most sustainable investors. It might be that they will maintain that position and thus not willing or interested in promoting and adhering to the Taxonomy.
“We are also concerned about the decision-making process that preceded the decision to include gas and nuclear and the precedents it sets for the future. There was no public consultation on the matter, and the arguments put forth by the EU’s expert group were not seriously considered”, says Sonja Haider.
On Dec 31st last year, the Commission requested the Platform on Sustainable Finance to provide feedback on the proposal to include nuclear energy and gas in the Taxonomy. A few weeks later, the working group returned with a report stating that nuclear and gas “are not in line with the Taxonomy Regulation, and most members see a serious risk of undermining the sustainable Taxonomy framework”.
Despite this, the Parliament’s vote did not support this viewpoint.