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S&Ds: We voted down the Taxonomy Delegated Act. Gas and nuclear cannot be labelled either green or sustainable


14 Jun 2022


Climate & Environment

At a joint voting session today, the Environment and Economic and monetary affairs committees in the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution that objects to the EU Commission’s Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act. MEPs thereby stated their rejection of the Commission proposal.

The Socialists and Democrats Group has vocally called on the Commission to revise its position, sending a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and to the Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, expressing our opposition to the labelling of gas and nuclear-based energy production as taxonomy compliant.

We still believe the EU taxonomy should fulfil its ambition to be the global ‘gold standard’ for sustainable finance and pave the way to the EU’s alignment with the Paris Agreement. The proposed Complementary Delegated Act falls short on both goals.

Our firm opposition will be also confirmed in the final vote next month in plenary.

S&D vice-president and shadow rapporteur in the environment committee, Simona Bonafè MEP, said:

“Gas and nuclear might still be necessary to meet energy needs and still useful in the transition to a climate neutral EU. However, gas and nuclear are certainly neither green nor sustainable. Hence, we had no choice but to vote against labelling them as taxonomy compliant. We have been constantly insisting on this to the EU Commission and have spoken openly and clearly about gas and nuclear being non-compliant. The environment and economy committees have now jointly voted against the Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act as a first positive step, still eventually to be confirmed by the vote in Strasbourg next month. 

“The Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act proposed by the European Commission has not only missed the target of creating trust and transparency for investors, but also risks jeopardising the EU’s future energy system and our common effort to fight the climate crisis. For this reason our Group have been strongly advocating in the past month for the creation of a dedicated Amber Category.

“Including gas and nuclear among taxonomy-compliant economic activities is, in other words, the wrong political message, both from an environmental and economic prospective.”

S&D shadow rapporteur in the economic affairs committee, Paul Tang MEP, explained:

“Today’s vote is a strong message to the Commission. This parliament will not accept institutionalised greenwashing. By rejecting plans to label fossil gas and nuclear energy as green, the committees for the environment and economic affairs spoke out for a sustainable and energy-independent Europe.

“This vote allows us to reduce our dependency on Russian gas and counter our citizens' skyrocketing energy bills by investing in renewables instead of gas. Most of all, it creates a definition of sustainability that makes sense, both to people and to the financial markets, which have broadly spoken out against a green label for gas and nuclear. Including gas and nuclear in its definition of sustainable investments, also known as the EU taxonomy, would turn the EU from climate leader into climate laggard. Even Russia's own taxonomy does not label gas as green!

“I trust that a big majority of my colleagues will now follow this line during the vote in the July plenary. Some from the right will still want to undermine the EU's taxonomy. However, today's vote gives me hope that they are a minority in this parliament. We do not lend ourselves to rubber-stamping a back-room deal between the European Commission and France.”