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Experts: nuclear, gas and some bioenergy not sustainable under EU taxonomy

09 March 2020
by WWF -- last modified 09 March 2020

The EU’s finance sector will take strides for the climate if the European Commission follows just-published expert advice.


Investments in nuclear power, gas and some types of bioenergy should not be counted as sustainable under the EU forthcoming rules or 'taxonomy', according to the Commission's technical expert group (TEG)'s report today.

The TEG also wants the taxonomy to include a category of unsustainable investments, which WWF has been repeatedly calling for, to show the worst economic areas for the planet.

However, the report is too lax on areas like forestry and hydropower, and still includes types of bioenergy which increase emissions compared to fossil fuels, like purpose grown biofuel crops, tree trunks and stumps. See WWF's preliminary analysis, below.

Sébastien Godinot, economist at WWF European Policy Office said:

"This is a thorough and mostly science-based set of proposed criteria, which would rightfully put an end to polluting fossil fuels,  nuclear and bioenergy being greenwashed. Further work is now needed from the Commission to tighten up criteria on bioenergy, forest management and on hydropower, given the damage dams do to fish and freshwater ecosystems."

The EU Commission is presenting this report to the public on Thursday 12 March, then it will begin assessing the technical taxonomy criteria, based on the TEG's proposal. The Commission is due to publish the final climate rules for the taxonomy before the end of 2020.

The European Policy Office helps shape EU policies that impact on the European and global environment.