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UCD Business faculty issue Open Scientists’ Letter on Financing Fossil Fuels

  • Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2021

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Encouraging the Financing of New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure by including Fossil Gas in the EU Green Taxonomy is not Compatible with a 1.5°C World.

A group of scientists led by UCD College of Business faculty Theodor CojoianuAndreas HoepnerFabiola Schneider and Joeri Rogelj from Imperial College London, have warned that encouraging the financing of new fossil fuel infrastructure by including fossil gas in the EU Green Taxonomy is not compatible with a 1.5°C world. 

The letter contains 66 signatories from scientists around the globe.

The open letter is addressed to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for an Economy Valdis Dombrovskis and European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union Mairead McGuinness.



Dear President von der Leyen,


Vice-Presidents Timmermans and Dombrovskis,


Commissioner McGuinness,


We are alarmed by a renewed proposal to allow fossil fuels into the EU Green Taxonomy.

The EU Taxonomy was conceived as a science-based gold standard to avoid greenwashing. The proposal to include gas into the Green Taxonomy would result in the Taxonomy itself becoming a greenwashing tool.

These unwarranted proposals are implied by President von der Leyen in her tweet but stand in direct contradiction to her Green Deal and the EU ambition for higher climate targets. They would also undermine and discredit the EU's global climate leadership. The scientific integrity of the EU’s Green Taxonomy must be maintained.

With other countries developing competing taxonomies for sustainable investments, including fossil gas into the EU Taxonomy would forgo the opportunity to define a global gold standard and lower global ambitions, setting a precedent that could result in other countries labelling a broad range of fossil fuel investments as sustainable.

For all of the above reasons, this gas lobby-promoted proposal must not be countenanced. For the EU Taxonomy to have any sustainable legacy, the Commission's Delegated Act must be consistent with the independent Technical Expert Group’s science-based recommendations.

We therefore urge the European Commission to reconsider this change in direction and reject the proposal to include fossil gas into the EU Green Taxonomy.

Yours sincerely,

Theodor Cojoianu, Queen's University Belfast

Andreas Hoepner, University College Dublin

Joeri Rogelj, Imperial College London and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Fabiola Schneider, University College Dublin


Scientists (66 including those above)

Carol Adams, University of Durham

Hanna Ahlström, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Francisco Ascui, University of Edinburgh

Konstantinos Baltas, University of Essex

Matthew Brander, University of Edinburgh

Proinnsias Breathnach, Maynooth University

Patrick Bresnihan, Trinity College Dublin

Timo Busch, Hamburg University

Nora Campbell, Trinity College Dublin

Charles H. Cho, York University

Céu Cortez, University of Minho

Helen De Coninck, Eindhoven University of Technology

Ivan Diaz-Rainey, University of Otago

Adam Dixon, Maastricht University

Sabine Dörry , University of Luxembourg

Fabrizio Ferraro, IESE Business School

Balázs Forman, Corvinus University of Budapest

Paul Gilbert, Sussex University

Céline Guivarch, CIRED, Ecole des Ponts

Laura Horn, Roskilde University

Lars Kaiser, University of Liechtenstein 

Christian Klein, University of Kassel

Joanna Krasodomska, Cracow University of Economics

Thomas Lagoarde-Segot, Kedge Business School

Qian Li, Cardiff Business School

Ming-Tsung Lin, University of Essex

Giovanna Michelon, University of Bristol

Martha O’Hagan, Trinity College Dublin

Vera Palea, University of Torino

Jonathan Perraton, Sheffield University

Joana Portugal Pereira, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Saphira Rekker, University of Queensland

Zacharias Sautner, Frankfurt School

Frank Schiemann, Hamburg University

Michael Schmitt, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf

Lisa Sheenan, Queen's University Belfast

Florinda Silva, University of Minho

Rüdiger Simon, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf

Andrew Vivian, Loughborough University

Ulrich Volz, SOAS, University of London

Dariusz Wójcik, Oxford University

Chendi Zhang, University of Exeter

Iftekhar Ahmed , University of Otago

Giuliana Birindelli, Università degli Studi 'G. d'Annunzio' Chieti

Alexander Blasberg, University of Duisburg-Essen

Giulia Chersoni, L'Università di Torino

Jan Christ, Ruhr-University Bochum

Alex Clark, Oxford University

Nathan de Arriba-Sellier, Yale University

Sergio Garcia Vega, University College Dublin

Leonhard Gebhardt, University of Potsdam & HTW Berlin

Zhenyi huang, University of London

Scott Kistner, Queen's University Belfast, Sociovestix Labs

Yanan Lin, University College Dublin

Felicia Liu, Oxford University

Sean McGarraghy, University College Dublin

Diego Pérez Guisande, University College Dublin

Maurizio Riesner, Duisburg Essen Univserity

Theresa Spandel, Hamburg University

Nele Terveen, Technical University of Munich

Raphael Tietmeyer, Hamburg University

Gabija Zdanceviciute, University College Dublin


Civil Society & Industry (20)

Pernilla Bergmark 

Spyros Binias 

Luca Bongiorno, Ortec Finance

Russ Bowdrey, Ortec Finance

Richard Clarke, Ortec Finance

Sandro Cluori 

Edward Coe, Ortec Finance

Manues Coeslier, Mirova

Lisa Eichler, Ortec Finance

James Hodson, AI for Good Foundation

Simon Iaffa, Brunswick Real Estate

Barrie Ingman 

Bert Kramer, Ortec Finance

Rosanne Lam, Ortec Finance

Max Linsen, Portolan association

Arvea Marieni 

Ricardo Romero 

Jegor Tokarevich, Substance Over Form Ltd

Willemijn Verdegaal, Ortec Finance

Sander Wolters, Ortec Finance


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