EU negotiators have agreed to a set of criteria for investments to be labelled as environmentally friendly, amid a push to overhaul the bloc’s economy in order to address the challenges of climate change.
“The agreement sets the world’s first gold standards for private investments,” said Dutch socialist EU lawmaker Paul Tang.
According to him, this will unleash billions of euros to fight the climate emergency.
It came days after the new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled her flagship “European green deal” environmental plan to overhaul the EU economy and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The deal must now be formally approved by the European Parliament and member states.
It was struck late on Monday, following last-minute wrangling over the classification of nuclear energy in particular.
According to liberal EU lawmaker Pascal Canfin, who chairs the environment committee, both gas and nuclear energy will be excluded from the top category of “pure green” energy.
Canfin said that to be included in any other category, they must pass the so-called “do no significant harm” test.
According to the Greens in parliament under the deal, coal and other solid fuel will not be considered sustainable.
The new classification system, or taxonomy, aims to avoid so-called greenwashing, the practice of marketing financial products as being sustainable when in fact they fail to meet basic environmental standards.
At an EU summit recently, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis had insisted on recognising nuclear energy as a green alternative to fossil fuels.
Opponents point to the risks involved and the unresolved issue of nuclear waste. (dpa/NAN)
– Dec. 17, 2019 @ 12:45 GMT |