59,031 of 75,000 signatures

To European Commission President von der Leyen, Executive Vice President Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President Timmermans and Commissioner McGuinness

Petition

The European Commision must stick to its plan to exclude fossil fuels from receiving recovery funds. Its new rules must ensure EU green investments aren’t ‘fake green’: neither coal, oil, gas, brown hydrogen, hydropower or whole trees burnt for energy should receive a cent. Nor should sea, inland water, or coastal transport. Listen to the voices of citizens.

This is the response we will submit to the European Commission's public consultation on your behalf:

I support the European Commission’s initiative to stop greenwashing in the financial industry and in the economy, and I welcome the effort to devise science-based criteria for what is to be considered a ‘green investment’.

In its proposal to classify investments, the Commission has, commendably, endorsed the 100 gCO2/KWh limit for energy production. Therefore fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas won’t be considered sustainable as they all produce emissions above this threshold. If you weaken this standard because of the heavy pressure from the industry, you will bring the entire taxonomy into disrepute and contradict the EU's own 2050 climate law. In fact, the Commission’s criteria should include thresholds that tighten at least every five years in order to decline to zero by 2050, as the experts recommend.

I also believe the following changes are urgently required:

  • The criteria on bioenergy are far too weak and will encourage things that increase emissions compared to fossil fuels, for example burning trees and crops;
  • Animal farming needs to be re-examined and should be excluded for now, as the current standards do little to address the many issues with the sector;
  • Sea and coastal transport for passengers and goods have been introduced with no expert oversight or stakeholder consultation. The standards proposed are not environmentally sustainable. These sections need to be withdrawn altogether and addressed in the appropriate expert group.

The burning of trees and crops for energy, factory animal farming, polluting cargo and cruise liners significantly damage our planet and people’s health, and should not be featured in the list of ‘green’ activities.

On top of these issues, I would like to highlight a number of other issues raised by environmental experts from civil society on forestry, hydropower, manufacturing and transport. Please find attached* the recommendations of these experts who, free of any conflict of interest, have nothing but the health of the planet and its people at heart.

*https://www.stopfakegreen.eu/NGO-TAXO-APPEAL75.pdf

Why is this important?

Coal, oil and gas companies have no place in a green recovery. Together, once and for all we can make sure that fossil fuel companies are not in line to get any recovery funds, but we only have until Friday to get our views heard.

President of the European Commission von der Leyen has released a draft law to rule out fossil fuels companies from receiving our recovery funds - it’s progress - but of course the mighty fossil fuel lobby is now going into overdrive trying to fight back. [1]

Interestingly, the European Commission could be our ally. They’ve launched a surprise survey to get feedback from the public. [2] Our hunch is they need our backing to drown out the fossil fuel lobby. Because they know what we know; people power wants a green recovery that fights every crisis.

This law defines what would be deemed a ‘green’ investment. We can make sure it goes further than excluding fossil fuels. The burning of trees and crops for energy, factory animal farming, polluting cargo and cruise liners significantly damage our planet and people’s health, and should not be featured in the list of ‘green’ activities to receive EU money.

But the deadline is really close, we only have until Friday to respond to the European Commission’s survey. It’s simple to respond - we’ve made a suggestion for what you could say, but feel free to add your own words!

References:

  1. https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-finance/sustainable-finance/eu-taxonomy-sustainable-activities_en
  2. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12302-Climate-change-mitigation-and-adaptation-taxonomy#ISC_WORKFLOW

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