Nuclear power excluded from EU’s green investment label

(EurActiv, 3 Apr 2019) The European Parliament voted on a proposed classification for sustainable assets on Thursday (28 March), voting to exclude nuclear power from receiving a green stamp of approval on financial markets.

The text voted in Parliament also excludes fossil fuels and gas infrastructure from the EU’s proposed green finance taxonomy, which aims to divert investments away from polluting industries into clean technologies.

In a bid to prevent “green-washing”, the Parliament text also requires investors to disclose whether their financial products have sustainability objectives, and if they do, whether the product is consistent with the EU’s green assets classification, or taxonomy.

While activists applauded the move, they said the classification voted by the European Parliament was too narrow and applies only to a limited set of recognisable green assets, such as wind and solar power companies.

“Brown list” rejected

An amendment to publish a “brown list” to name and shame investments seen as damaging for the environment was rejected by Parliament.

Kristina Jeromin, Head of Group Sustainability at Deutsche Börse and Managing Director of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany, told EURACTIV she would have liked to see a more ambitious approach. But the process is only at the beginning, she pointed out.

According to Jeromin, the amount of capital needed to move financial markets “cannot only be stimulated by adopting a common taxonomy alone”.

“This is a major process, and as such the EU taxonomy won’t have an immediate impact on the market in the short term,” she pointed out, saying the EU’s sustainable finance plan should be continued after the May European elections to maintain the pressure on market players and avert a “wait and see” attitude towards Brussels.

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EurActiv, 4 Apr 2019: Nuclear power excluded from EU’s green investment label