• EU Commission gives ‘green’ light to gas in blow to climate action and gift to Putin

    EU Commission today confirmed that gas will be labelled green in its sustainable investing taxonomy, leaving it up to the European Parliament to defeat the bill.

    The European Commission has confirmed today that gas will be included in the EU’s list of green investments. This is despite the Commission’s own expert group warning that the inclusion of gas is unacceptable.

    William Todts, executive director of T&E, said: “The Commission’s labelling of gas as green is utterly wrong . It encourages a wave of  investment in fossil gas, undermining the shift to clean energy and increasing our dependence on Russia. The Commission has ignored scientists, its own experts group and investors holding 50 trillion in assets just to please the gas lobby. 

    “This bad and unscientific decision leaves us no choice but to launch a Europe-wide campaign to defeat the bill in the European Parliament.”

    The provisions allow all new gas plants to be labelled as green under the condition that they will be used ‘sparingly’. And then, from 2036, they require a switch to low carbon gas that will lead to a surge in the production of biomethane with catastrophic consequences on land use and nature, warns T&E.

    T&E outlines the main problems with the law:

    • Gas – It allows a wave of investments in gas plants that might improve emissions in the short term but offer no path to decarbonise and are therefore incompatible with the EU’s Green Deal and the Paris Agreement. It also contradicts the methane pledge signed at the COP.
    • Biogas – The provisions incentivise a big increase in biogas production. As with biofuels, the massive increase in ‘crops for gas’ will fuel biodiversity loss and destroy ecosystems. 
    • Integrity of green finance rules – It undermines the credibility of sustainable investing, since no green fund or green bond includes gas today. So, at best, the EU’s rules will be ignored, at worst it will fuel a whole industry of fake green investments. 
    • It undermines the credibility of the EU’s ambition and the green credentials of its Commission. The EU has gone from a green deal to the greenwashing of fossil gas.
    • Gift to Putin – at a time where millions of Europeans are struggling to pay their gas bills the Commissions declares gas is the green fuel of the future.  It is a boost to Putin and will solidify Russia’s stranglehold over the bloc’s gas supplies.