EU to offer green investment label for gas and nuclear power, source says

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BRUSSELS, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The European Commission is expected to propose rules on Wednesday allowing certain gas and nuclear power plants to qualify as green investments, with minor changes from an earlier draft proposal, Reuters was told. a Commission source.

Brussels has been trying for more than a year to determine whether gas and nuclear energy should be labeled as green in the EU’s taxonomy, a regulation that defines which investments can be marketed as climate-friendly.

In final rules to be published on Wednesday, the Commission will confirm plans to label gas and nuclear power plants as sustainable investments, provided they meet certain criteria, a Commission source said under the guise of anonymity.

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A Commission spokesman declined to comment.

The criteria are expected to include minor modifications that could make it easier for some gasworks to obtain a green investment label compared to the previous project.

The draft would have given gasworks a green label until 2030 if they met criteria including emission limits and a requirement to burn progressively more low-carbon gas, starting in 2026 and eventually switching to 100% low-carbon gas by 2035.

The final rules will include the 2035 low carbon gas requirement, but not the 2026 rule, the source said.

A proposed rule that new gasworks replace a more polluting facility and result in a 55% reduction in emissions per kWh of energy output, will instead apply the 55% reduction to the overall life of the plant. factory, they said.

The rules have not yet been adopted by the Commission and could change before they are published on Wednesday.

The plan has been criticized by campaigners and some governments, with EU countries divided over whether the fuels should be considered green.

Four countries wrote to the Commission on Monday urging it to exclude the gas, citing a “lack of scientific evidence” to label the fuel as green. Austria and Luxembourg have threatened legal action if the EU qualifies nuclear as sustainable.

Countries including France, which gets around 70% of its electricity from nuclear, say the CO2-free energy source has a major role to play in tackling climate change, while some countries in central Europe and eastern see gas as necessary to stop further polluting coal.

A super-majority of 20 EU countries – out of a total of 27 – or a majority of the European Parliament’s 700 lawmakers could veto the final rules, during a four-month review period after their publication .

Commission expert advisers said last week that the draft gas and nuclear rules do not align with EU climate change goals, including its goal of having net zero emissions by 2050.

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Reporting by Kate Abnett, Sabine Siebold; edited by Barbara Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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