The European Commission is split over whether to postpone a decision on classifying gas generated from fossil fuels as green energy under its landmark classification system for investors. Brussels had planned to publish an updated draft of a taxonomy for sustainable finance later this week. The document is designed to guide those who want to direct their money into environmentally-friendly investments and help stamp out the misreporting of companies’ environmental impact, known as greenwashing.
The commission was forced to revamp its initial proposals earlier this year after the text was criticized by member states which want gas to be explicitly recognized as a low-emission technology that can help the EU meet its goal of becoming a net-zero polluter by 2050.
Now the publication of the draft rules could be postponed again as the commission seeks to resolve the impasse. According to a draft of the text seen by the Financial Times, the commission proposed to delay the decision in order to carry out a separate assessment of how gas and nuclear “contribute to decarbonisation” to allow for a more “transparent” debate about the technologies.
But officials told the FT that some commissioners were pushing for gas to be awarded the green label now, rather than delaying the decision until later this year.
“There are a sizeable number of voices in the commission who want gas to be included in the taxonomy,” said one official. A final decision on whether to approve the current text or delay it again for further redrafting is likely to be made on Monday.