"If our MEPs vote in favour of gas and nuclear as green investments, they will be contributing to one of the biggest incidents of greenwashing in the European Union. How can the fossil fuel that fuels the climate crisis and nuclear power responsible for toxic radioactive waste be green investments? This will help neither the climate nor the environment, but may divert billions to gas and nuclear at the expense of renewables. Moreover, they could contribute billions more to Putin's coffers," said Katarína Juríková, director of Greenpeace Slovakia.
The organisations have also created a school report/certificate for fossil gas to make it easier for MEPs to decide on how to vote. While gas excels at greenwashing and worsening the climate crisis, it has completely failed in protecting the future of our children. The European Parliament will vote on whether fossil gas and nuclear get the green investment label on 7 July.
"Today our children collected their report cards. As you can see from the report card that fossil gas received, it does not deserve the label of a sustainable investment. Our dependence on gas and its increasing price is hitting the most socially vulnerable groups. Yet we have much better options than gas that we should start supporting to help people, the environment, and the next generation," said Ivana Nemeth for Concerned Mothers.
According to the think tank Ember, fossil gas is the most polluting fuel in the European Union, whose soaring prices are behind the ongoing energy crisis. The organisations believe that to label gas as a green investment would make an absurd mockery of our climate ambitions, as gas is responsible for the emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to the climate crisis.
"Politicians need to understand that ending our dependence on fossil gas is essential. Instead, real solutions such as wind, solar, geothermal or heat pumps must be promoted. These will help to end our energy dependence on Russia and, at the same time, help our wallet, because the unit cost of producing energy from renewable sources is already lower than gas. We also need to support the renovation of buildings, which will bring valuable savings on heating," added Jakub Andacki, a student and climate activist from From Benches to Streets.
The Commission's plan has been criticised not only by environmental organisations, but also by actors from the financial sector itself. Investors from the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the Sustainable Finance Platform, Dutch pension funds as well as the European Investment Bank have criticised the proposal. The exclusion of gas and nuclear from the taxonomy has also been called for by non-profit organisations from Ukraine.