German parties argue over whether to qualify natural gas as a green investment – document

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FILE PHOTO: Leading Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate for Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for talks to form a so-called traffic light government coalition in Berlin, Germany November 15, 2021. REUTERS / Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) – The three parties working to form Germany’s next ruling coalition disagree on whether the European Union should label gas power plants as a green investment in efforts to achieve climate protection goals, a negotiating document revealed on Wednesday.

As Germany phase out nuclear and coal plants, standby Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his center-left Social Democrats are trying to convince the Greens in coalition talks that natural gas is needed as a bridge to secure the energy security during the transition to a zero carbon economy.

But the Greens have so far resisted proposed wording for the coalition deal that calls on the European Union to include natural gas in its taxonomy of sustainable finance, according to a draft of the coalition deal seen by Reuters .

Instead, the Greens want the three parties to include the following sentence in their coalition agreement: “The federal government will actively campaign against the labeling of nuclear energy and natural gas as sustainable technology.

The EU will present its green investment taxonomy or common framework in January to guide asset managers inside the bloc and make green activities more visible and attractive to investors.

The rules also aim to eradicate “greenwashing”, whereby organizations exaggerate their environmental credentials.

In their working paper, the three parties have so far only been able to agree on the wording that the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy should be both ‘ambitious and practical’, depending on the version. provisional.

France wants the EU to include nuclear energy in the new framework – a request fiercely rejected by Germany.

A compromise could see the two largest EU member states agree that nuclear and natural gas should be included in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy for a period of transition.

Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle


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