Environmental Activists Demand EU Review Decision To Label Gas, Nuclear Power ‘Climate Friendly’

(Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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Greenpeace and four other environmental activist organizations are legally challenging the European Union’s (EU) decision to label natural gas and nuclear power as climate-friendly sources of energy, Reuters reported Monday.

Eight European Greenpeace chapters demanded that the EU review its decision to classify natural gas and nuclear energy as “green” in its taxonomy rulebook that looks to direct investments towards sustainable energy developments, according to a press release. Greenpeace claims that the EU program that may allocate funding towards such projects is incompatible with its climate goals. (RELATED: ‘No Bailout Coming’: US Gas Companies Give Grim Warning To Europe)

“This fake green label is incompatible with EU environment and climate laws,” Greenpeace campaigner Ariadna Rodrigo said, according to the press release. “Gas is a leading cause of climate and economic chaos, while there is still no solution to the problem of nuclear radioactive waste and the risk of nuclear accidents is far too significant to ignore.”

The World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth Germany, Transport & Environment and ClientEarth called on the EU to only review its designation of gas, according to Reuters. If the EU does not reverse its ruling, the activist organizations stated they would take their legal challenges to the European Court of Justice.

Greenpeace activists stage a demonstration before German Economy Minister gives a press conference on condition of nuclear plants in front of the BPK (Bundespressekonferenz) building in Berlin on September 5, 2022. (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

The EU in March decided to include certain nuclear and gas energy investments in a list of economic activities covered by its green taxonomy, according to the European Commission. The taxonomy was created to accelerate investment in projects that would meet the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030 and reach the objectives of the European green deal.

The provision that defines gas and nuclear developments as environmentally friendly will go into effect in January 2023.

The activist groups argued that the provision will take money away from renewable energy sources like wind turbines and solar panels, Bloomberg reported. Greenpeace also claimed that it takes far too long to construct nuclear facilities and that nuclear power causes large amounts of hazardous waste.

The EU is currently facing an energy crisis that is causing household electricity bills to skyrocket and forcing factories to shutter. European countries are desperate to stockpile gas ahead of winter to power their economies as Russia, Europe’s main exporter of natural gas, has halted its deliveries.

Gas accounted for 24% of the EU’s energy consumption in 2020 and nuclear energy accounted for 13% of the EU’s energy consumption in 2020, while renewables accounted for 17%, according to Eurostat.

The European Commission and the WWF did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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