European Union

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The European Commission is standing by plans to classify some natural gas and nuclear power projects as "sustainable" if they meet certain strict conditions. The commission's final proposals contain only minor revisions, compared with a draft version released in early January. And that has drawn criticism from some European countries, investor groups and environmental activists. The proposals setting out the conditions for including gas and nuclear power in the EU's "sustainable finance taxonomy" will now be sent to the European Parliament and EU member states for review. The proposals look set to be adopted because opponents would have to meet a high threshold to block them — 20 of the 27 EU member states in the Council of Ministers or a simple majority of the 705 members of the European Parliament. The review period will last four months, extendable for two more months, and the proposals are set to become part of the official taxonomy on Jan. 1, 2023. The taxonomy is intended as guidance to private investors about what can be considered a sustainable investment — a "green label" of sorts. The criteria will be reviewed every three years.

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