Nuclear Politics

Taxonomy / EU Faces Legal Action Over Inclusion Of Gas And Nuclear

By David Dalton
18 April 2023

Two separate challenges being lodged in general court

EU Faces Legal Action Over Inclusion Of Gas And Nuclear
Environmental campaigners say nuclear should not be part of the taxonomy.

The European Commission is being sued by environmental campaigners over a decision to include gas and nuclear in an EU guide to “green” investments.

Two separate legal challenges are being lodged on Tuesday (18 April) at the European Union’s general court in Luxembourg – one by Greenpeace and another by a coalition including Client Earth and WWF – after the classification of fuels in the “taxonomy for environmentally sustainable economic activities”, a guide for investors intended to channel billions into green technologies.

The EU executive, argues Greenpeace, acted unlawfully when it designated gas and nuclear as bridge technologies in the taxonomy, which is intended to help meet the bloc’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Client Earth, along with three other NGOs, is challenging the inclusion of gas, which it says breaks the EU climate law that sets a legally binding target of reaching net zero emissions by the middle of the century.

The cases are the latest legal action against the EU’s. Last year Austria filed a suit supported by Luxembourg.

The taxonomy became law in July 2020, but legislators left important details to be resolved through so-called delegated acts – secondary legislation meant for technical issues that is not subject to the same degree of ministerial and parliamentary oversight.

The campaign groups are challenging one of the delegated acts.

Members of the European Parliament voted in July 2022 to support legislation which included nuclear in the taxonomy.

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