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Two committees in the European Parliament voted against including natural gas and nuclear energy as sustainable energy sources, dealing a blow to the bloc’s executive arm which had proposed the controversial labeling, Euronews reported.
The European Commission had proposed earlier this year to include nuclear power and gas as transitional energy sources as part of its Taxonomy Regulation to build a climate-friendly future in the European Union.
The taxonomy rules are part of the EU’s efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Energy sectors already labeled as green include solar, geothermal, hydrogen, wind power and hydropower, according to the Associated Press.
But European lawmakers from two committees rejected the proposal, saying the inclusion of the two fossil-fuel energy sources does not “respect the criteria for environmentally sustainable economic activities” as set out in the Regulation.
The decision is not yet final and the parliament is expected to vote on the inclusion in the first week of July. If the majority of lawmakers reject the move, the Commission will be forced to withdraw or amend its regulation.
Environmental activists hailed the vote but the labeling debacle has divided the bloc: A majority of nations, led by France, support the labeling, while Luxembourg, Spain and Austria oppose it.
Meanwhile, Germany – which relies heavily on gas – objected to the inclusion of nuclear energy as sustainable.
The recent vote comes as the 27-nation bloc is trying to wean itself off of its dependency on Russian energy. EU countries agreed to ban 90 percent of Russian oil by the end of the year following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.