Climate Change

NGOs start legal action against EU over including gas in green taxonomy

Environmental NGOs start legal action against labeling gas as sustainable

Photo: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Published

September 21, 2022

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Published:

September 21, 2022

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Environmental organizations ClientEarth, WWF, Transport & Environment (T&E), and BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) have started legal action to remove the green label given to natural gas in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

ClientEarth, WWF’s European Policy Office, T&E, and BUND are requesting from the European Commission to repeal the Complementary Delegated Act (CDA), adopted this year, which labels gas as sustainable.

“The CDA clashes with other EU laws, in particular the Taxonomy Regulation itself and the European Climate Law. It also does not respect the EU’s obligations under the Paris Agreement,” the organizations said.

If the European Commission refuses to repeal CDA, the NGOs will be able to turn to the Court of Justice of the EU

The European Commission now has up to 22 weeks to reply, and if it refuses, the NGOs will be able to ask the Court of Justice of the EU to rule. ClientEarth said. The environmentalist groups hope for a judgment that forces the commission to repeal the CDA.

The organizations said Europe’s reliance on gas has led to sky-high energy bills – leading to a surge in the number of households struggling to afford heat and electricity.

Labeling gas as sustainable risks channeling investments away from renewables

It also has detrimental impacts on the environment – including the release of vast amounts of carbon and methane emissions, they added.

According to the environmentalists, labeling gas as sustainable risks channeling investments into this harmful energy source, away from genuinely sustainable sources of energy like homegrown renewables – and skilfully reducing demand in the first place.

The taxonomy aims to provide companies, investors and policymakers with appropriate definitions for which economic activities can be considered green in financial disclosures and reporting.

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