The push to label natural gas and nuclear energy as “green” in order to lure in more private investors was met with heavy resistance. But EU lawmakers ultimately gave it the green light.
The European Parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a proposal regarding labeling natural gas and nuclear power plants as climate-friendly investments.
The European Commission released the proposal, formally called the EU taxonomy, in December as a list of economic activities that investors can label and market as green in the EU.
A motion to block the proposal received 278 votes in favor and 328 against, while 33 lawmakers abstained.
Unless 20 of the EU’s 27 member states oppose the proposal, it will be passed into law.
Accusations of ‘greenwashing’ fossil fuels
The proposal was initially met with resistance among some EU member states, with one camp led by France strongly backing the green label for natural gas and nuclear energy. Meanwhile, Germany — which has been phasing out its nuclear power plants — had opposed the plan.
Some environmental groups and EU lawmakers have also criticized the plan for “greenwashing” fossil fuel and nuclear energy.
Austria and Luxembourg have even pledged to sue the EU if the plan becomes law.
Still, the proposal had the backing of the majority of the center-right European People’s Party, the European Parliament’s biggest lawmaker group.
Lawmakers of the centrist Renew Europe group were largely in favor of the proposal, while the Greens and Social Democrats mostly opposed it.
A total of 353 lawmakers — a majority of the Parliament’s 705 lawmakers — are needed to reject a plan for it to fail.