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E.U. move to label gas and nuclear ‘green’ prompts charges of ‘greenwashing’

  • Date: Thu, Feb 3, 2022

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By Emily Rauhala, Washington Post

BRUSSELS — Can natural gas ever be called sustainable? And can nuclear energy credibly be dubbed green?

A landmark proposal from the European Commission effectively answers “yes” to both — and many are not pleased.

The European Union’s executive arm on Wednesday will detail its plan to classify some natural gas and nuclear power as green investments, a move that may shape the climate fight in Europe and around the world…

… Andreas Hoepner, a professor at University College Dublin who was part of an expert group that advised the E.U. on the taxonomy, likened the plan to “calling french fries salad.”

The commission’s draft said that investments in gas-fired plants could get a “green” label until at least 2030 if emissions are under a certain level. It also set intermediate steps, asking firms to show they were increasingly using renewable sources — a criteria that has since been removed.

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