The European Commission has postponed its decision by a few weeks on whether it will label natural gas and nuclear energy projects as climate-friendly investments, despite expectations that it would make an announcement today.
The verdict has been delayed for a year amid disagreements among EU member states and investors. France and the Czech Republic, pro-nuclear states, say nuclear fuel’s low CO2 emissions make it crucial in the transition to green energy and argue it would help attract private finance. Opponents, like Germany, worry about the environmental impact of radioactive waste.
The EC will likely go through with the plan to label natural gas and nuclear energy as sustainable under EU green finance rules. The decision will create some backlash—an international group of investors that see no place for fossil fuels and nuclear in the sustainability rulebook have indicated that they will reject the “green” label.
If the EU goes forward with the plan, even if gas and nuclear are in a separate category, it will hurt investor confidence. Critics fear the decision will undermine the European Green Deal as well as the legitimacy of the EU’s leading role in addressing climate change going forward.
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Madeline McQuillan is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a contributor to the Daily Brief. Her expertise is in European politics and transatlantic relations. She holds a Master of Science in European and International Public Policy from the London School of Economics.