The European Parliament did not block on Wednesday a European Commission proposal to include some natural gas and nuclear projects in the list of environmentally sustainable economic activities, paving the way for the EU to include such projects in its so-called “green” investments.
In a vote on Wednesday, most members of the European Parliament did not support a motion to block the Commission’s proposal. A total of 278 MEPs voted in favor of the resolution to block the proposal, 328 voted against, and 33 abstained. The vote failed to reach an absolute majority of 353 MEPs which was needed for Parliament to veto the Commission’s proposal.
If neither Parliament nor Council object to the proposal by July 11, 2022, the act will enter into force and apply as of January 1, 2023, the European Parliament said.
The EU could reject the “green” status for gas and nuclear if 20 out of the EU’s 27 member states reject it, which is highly unlikely, analysts say.
The European Commission updated earlier this year its Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation covering certain gas and nuclear activities. Under the new taxonomy, some gas projects, including several pipelines, were given a “sustainable investment” status. Gas projects are “transitional” if they contribute to the transition from coal to renewables, the EU says.
The bloc is accelerating its efforts to reduce dependence on Russian pipeline gas after Russia invaded Ukraine, cut off the gas supply to several EU members that refused to pay in rubles, and most recently, slashed supply to major customers, including Germany and Italy.
The “green status” for gas and nuclear has stirred a lot of controversy in EU institutions and among officials. Some have argued supporting gas is now of critical importance with an unreliable major supplier, Russia. Others have said that the war in Ukraine and the Russian behavior in energy supply should be a wake-up call for the EU and the world to look to renewables and ditch dependence on fossil fuels.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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