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Climate Politics

Big Finance and Activists Slam ‘Disappointing’ EU Gas Vote

  • EU members, activists threaten legal fight as gas dubbed green
  • Investor groups say fund managers may ignore EU decision
Cooling towers at a nuclear power plant in Nogent-sur-Seine, France.

Cooling towers at a nuclear power plant in Nogent-sur-Seine, France.

Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg
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Europe has botched an historic opportunity to create a global benchmark for sustainable investing after agreeing to treat gas as a green asset, according to bankers, investors, climate activists and their lawyers.

Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, whose members oversee more than $50 trillion in combined assets, described Wednesday’s decision by the EU Parliament to include gas in Europe’s green investing rulebook as “disappointing.” Stephan Kippe, head of ESG research at Commerzbank AG, said it “doesn’t make the fight against greenwashing any easier.” Climate activists, meanwhile, were far more outspoken, with Global Witness calling it a “sick joke.”