|Image Credit: REUTERS / Benoit Tessier|
After years of fighting between governments for truly climate-friendly investments, the European Union has plans to label some natural gas and nuclear power projects as “green” investments.
The European Commission is expected to propose rules in January to determine whether nuclear and gas projects are included in the EU’s “sustainable financial classification”.
This is a list of economic activities and environmental criteria that must be met to be labeled as a green investment.
By restricting the label “green” to truly climate-friendly projects, the system aims to make these investments more attractive to private equity and prevent “greenwashing” in which companies or investors exaggerate their eco-friendly credentials.
Brussels has also taken steps to implement the system in some EU funds, meaning that regulations can determine which projects are eligible for certain public funding.
A draft of the commission’s proposal, seen by Reuters, would label investments in nuclear power plants as green if the project had plans, resources and space to dispose of radioactive waste.
To be considered green, new nuclear power plants must obtain a building permit before 2045.
Investments in natural gas power plants are also considered green if they emit less than 270 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour (kWh), replacing more environmentally harmful power plants with fossil fuels, obtain a building permit by December 31, 2030 and Is. Plans to switch to low carbon emissions by the end of 2035.
Gas and nuclear generation will be labeled green because they are defined as “transitional activities” that are not entirely sustainable but have lower emissions than the industry average and do not contain assets harmful to the environment. ,
“Given current scientific advice and technological advances, as well as the various transition challenges between member countries, the Commission believes that natural gas and nuclear energy play a key role in facilitating the transition to a renewable future,” the European Commission said. One line.
To help states with different energy backgrounds transition, “under certain circumstances, solutions that do not appear ‘green’ at first glance may make sense,” a commission source told Reuters, adding that the solutions are investments in gas and nuclear energy. Will be subject to “strict rules”.
A panel of EU countries and experts will analyze the draft proposal before it is released in late January, which could change.
Once published, it can be vetoed by most EU countries or the European Parliament.
The policy has been lobbied by governments for more than a year, and EU countries disagree on which fuels are truly sustainable.
Half of the CO2 emissions from coal when burned in a power plant emit natural gas, but the gas infrastructure is also linked to a methane leak, a powerful EU adviser recommended that gas-fired power plants should not be labeled as a green investment unless they have an impact. Does. The lower emission limit of 100g CO2e / kWh is based on the reduction in deep emissions, scientists say, which is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.