In December 2021, a proposal was released by the European Commission that contained a list of activities they believed investors could label as being green. This is known as the Green Labelling System, that was set out by the European Commission in order to define which investments in the energy sector are sustainable. This new proposal stated that investments into natural gas and nuclear energy were sustainable.
On the 6th of July (2022), the European Parliament voted in favour of natural gas and nuclear power plants being positive investments and that they are climate friendly. A vote regarding the blocking of the proposal was carried out. At the end of the vote, there were 278 votes for the blocking of the proposal and 328 were against.
There were mixed arguments both for and against the new proposal, with France being one of its main supporters. Germany however is strongly opposed as it is currently phasing out its own nuclear energy sector, due to health risks and fears of radioactive leaks.
In some instances, country leaders and environmental groups have called out the new proposal as being a form of greenwashing, as natural gas is a fossil fuel. Although it does not emit the amounts of greenhouse gases that coal does, the gas it does release will still warm the planet.
Nuclear, although it does not release CO2, releases radioactive waste that can have detrimental effects if it gets into the atmosphere. This has been the cause of numerous debates, as technically due to the lack of greenhouse gas emissions the energy source is clean, however, there are major health concerns that come with nuclear energy.
There is a chance that this proposal will come into force on the 1st of January 2023, in order to stop this, 20 of the 27 EU countries must oppose.