Brussels, Belgium, February 2, 2022 – Today, the European Commission published the complementary Delegated Act amending the treatment of fossil gas in EU Taxonomy, making it a tool for greenwashing rather than a solution.
Despite clear conclusions from the the European Commission expert advisors, form the Platform on Sustainable Finance, that current Delegated Act breach the technology neutrality principle, no substantial changes have been made in the new proposal (EU Platform on Sustainable Finance response to complementary Delegated Act (europa.eu)).
”Our warning on the uncertain and unlikely realisation of shifts to undefined renewable and low-carbon gases has not only been disregarded – the criteria has also been weakened”, says sustainable finance manager Lina Strandvåg Nagell at Bellona Europa.
As a justification for introduced gas loopholes, and gas-specific exemptions to the technology neutrality principle, the Commission heavily relies on proposed shifts to renewable and low-carbon gases. Neither defined in the proposal. Making it possible for gas power plants, replacing an existing high emitting facility, built until 2030 to claim net-zero compliance if they can in the future be fuelled by renewable gas (such as green hydrogen) or low-carbon gases.
As shown by Bellona Europa’s own calculations, this would incentivise inefficient use of a valuable resource: renewables. The proposal risks gas power plants becoming a black hole for renewable energy, more efficiently used elsewhere. A far cry from the Taxonomy’s intended role: setting the gold standard for sustainability.