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EU lawmakers reject attempts to block green investment rules By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Flags from the European Union fly outside of Brussels’ EU Commission headquarters, Belgium. July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Parliament members on Monday rejected three attempts by some lawmakers to block the European Union’s proposed rulebook for sustainable investments, as Brussels edges towards completing the first part of the landmark rules.

April saw the European Commission propose the first section to the EU’s Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. It is a complicated piece of legislation which will define what investments in Europe can be called “sustainable”.

The proposal is being examined by the European Parliament as well as EU countries. It includes carbon dioxide limits and other criteria economic activities such car production and wind turbines must satisfy to qualify for green investment status.

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The proposal was rejected by three lawmakers who tried to protest it to Parliament’s economy and environment committees. It could be rejected by the majority of EU members or lawmakers.

Chair of the environmental committee Pascal Canfin welcomed the results. He said that the taxonomy will “strengthen EU leaders on green finance regulations”.

These motions tried to block the taxonomy proposal because it did not conform with EU laws or include nuclear energy and power plants as sustainable investments.

A second proposal by the Commission, which will confirm whether or not the taxonomy will classify investments in natural gas and nuclear as green, is expected to be published in the coming months.

These issues have been delayed for months. The decision was also in the face of heavy lobbying from EU countries, which disagree over whether or not these fuels are worthy of a sustainable label.

Last week, 150 campaigns groups urged Brussels to not label gas green. They said that doing so would encourage fossil fuel investments at a time where Europe is trying to reduce its dependency on oil, coal and gas.

Brussels’ taxonomy aims to increase visibility of climate-friendly projects to investors, and to direct large amounts of capital to projects that help the EU meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

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