Gas Industry Lobbying Undermines Key EU Climate Plan

Gas Industry Lobbying Undermines Key EU Climate Plan

Leaked documents show EU’s revised taxonomy is exactly what some companies wanted

Leaked documents suggest the EU is considering weakening a key climate policy in line with the specific requests from two Polish-based gas companies, an analysis by InfluenceMap shows.

According to media reports, the European Commission appears to be buckling to pressure from gas lobbyists and Member States and is considering lowering the threshold so that parts of the gas sector can be classified as 'green' under the proposed taxonomy rules.

The leaked draft plan would see gas cogeneration plants be classified as a green investment if they replace a high-emitting existing facility, emit no more than 270gCO2e/kWh and result in a cut in emissions of at least 50% per kWh. Previously, all gas plants had to meet a threshold of 100gCO2e/kWh.

In submissions to the consultation process in December 2020, PGE Group and PGNiG - both Polish state-controlled companies - specifically asked for the gas cogeneration threshold to be increased to 270gCO2/kWh.

Whilst numerous companies – including BP, Eni, Snam, E.ON, Equinor, Engie and Siemens – responded to the consultation and argued for a more lenient approach to natural gas, this concession matches the asks of the Polish gas sector most closely.

"Classifying gas cogeneration as 'sustainable' when it displaces higher-emitting power sources - even under additional conditions - goes against the Commission's expert group's own advice and risks undermining the scientific integrity of the taxonomy," InfluenceMap analyst Rebecca Vaughan said.

"This is another reminder that the policy ambition of the EU taxonomy is at significant risk of being undermined by ongoing lobbying efforts."

These submissions are some of more than 46,000 received by the Commission during the consultation process at the end of 2020. InfluenceMap is continuing to analyze the submissions.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London)

simon.cullen( @ )influencemap.org