Greenpeace made a recent discovery that may push the European Commission into a bad light. Last September [2022], Greenpeace ordered a formal review of all the listed “green” energy sources and products the EU has investments in. Within the findings, they found that multiple investments that include gas and nuclear energy were labeled “green.” This in turn is in direct violation of the EU’s climate laws. Brussels has rejected the request to remove the mislabellings and now finds itself within a heavy lawsuit. According to a Commission’s spokesperson, the assessed labeled sources did not violate environmental law – contrary to Greenpeace’s point of suit. The EU Parliament has also backed their decision to label these invested products as “green.”

This issue first arose last year and has since been under debate between the EU states. The EU rules, or ‘taxonomy,’ aim to provide a high standard of regulations and firm foundation for sustainable investing. Spain and Denmark have argued that gas, a main fossil fuel emanator, should not be credibly labeled as climate friendly. Meanwhile, Poland and Bulgaria have supported the decision to include such gas within the list of “green” sources. This heated debate has raised the option of whether or not to use gas as a “bridge” source between coal and renewable energy. A majority of countries have left coal in the past as a fuel option, but gas is a trickier source to break ties from. This controversy has also intensified since Russia’s invasion into Ukraine cut the majority of gas supplies to the EU. 

Money is heavily intertwined within the production of gas. The circular transaction supports economic infrastructure, whether imports and exports; business, organization and corporation funding, so completing the transfer to fully renewable energy can develop some red tape and complications. The EU rules do not ban investments of activities that do not have a green label, but they restrict which ones can be labeled as sustainable. The process allows investors and other agencies to view a transparent insight into the listed climate-friendly activities. 

Greenpeace campaigner Ariana Rodrigo stated that they will fight the fake green label in court. Other environmental groups, WWF, Friends of the Earth Germany, Transport & Environment, and ClimateEarth have also requested Brussels to remove the false labeling. According to the published article, these organizations have also discussed their next steps.