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The IEF believes the decision to count these energy sources as sustainable will aid in achieving climate goals.

By Joseph Murphy

The "responsible" decision by the European Parliament to recognise nuclear energy and natural gas as sustainable will unlock billions of euros of new investment, the International Energy Forum said in a statement on July 7.

The European Commission in February passed an act that revised its taxonomy, which is designed to guide investors on what activities can be considered sustainable, to include gas and nuclear. The European Parliament's environment and economic committee rejected the proposal in mid-June, but that resolution was subsequently blocked by lawmakers in a full parliament vote on July 8.

"This is a realistic and responsible decision which will bring badly needed investments to vital new nuclear and natural gas projects at a time when Europe urgently needs new and diverse supplies for its energy security," IEF secretary general Joseph McMonigle said in a statement. "The decision does not change climate goals but only increases the options to achieve them."

He added that the energy crisis rolling on in Europe today demonstrated the need for more reliable and affordable energy, to reduce costs and strengthen public support for the transition. The vice president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans warned on July 8 that the high cost of energy in the EU risked causing "very, very strong conflict and strife" this winter, potentially leading to the public turning its back on the energy transition. He also stressed the case for more oil and gas supply in the short term to alleviate soaring energy costs.

While the gas industry has broadly welcomed the EU's inclusion of gas in its taxonomy, some representatives have cautioned that the criteria for what makes a gas project sustainable are too stringent. More information on these criteria can be read here.

The International Energy Forum is an inter-governmental organisation comprising 72 major energy markets and suppliers.