Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Unsplash

ROME, 4 March 2022 – Laudato Si’ Movement has released a statement urging European leaders to reject the Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act and remove gas and nuclear from the list of environmentally sustainable activities, affirming that there is no future for a greenwashing of fossil fuel companies and governments that subsidize climate injustice. 

The EU Taxonomy statement highlights that over 300 Catholic institutions have made a moral and ethical choice of divesting from fossil fuels, joining the more than 1,100 institutions that have divested about $40 billion from the harmful fossil fuel industry in the last decade. The statement also reminds us that The Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy reports that the world has more than enough renewable energy potential to make the transition away from fossil fuels while expanding energy access for all. 

Furthermore, the statement argues that the Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act has become a greenwashing tool, erroneously framing fossil fuel gas and nuclear power as environmentally sustainable and failing to fulfill its purpose of helping companies become more climate-friendly and shift investments to renewable energy where they are most needed.

By including fossil gas and nuclear power in the taxonomy, the European Union fails to give a clear signal to private investors of the urgent need to replace those assets with true climate-oriented investments that are more compatible with hitting the EU’s 2030 climate targets Fit for 55. The statement  points to The International Energy Agency (IEA) Net Zero by 2050 Roadmap that states that no new investments in fossil fuels are possible to keep in line with the Paris agreement 1.5 goal that the EU aims to reach by 2030 and 2050. 

In addition to being unsustainable and failing to contribute to climate objectives, nuclear power is also proven to be a dangerous, dirty and expensive source of energy. We don’t need to put people and nature at risk with dangerous nuclear energy anymore, while we may use renewable energy and technical progress instead. As Pope Francis writes in Laudato Si’, “We can once more broaden our vision. We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology; we can put it at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (LS 112). 

Laudato Si’ Movement’s statement joins the prophetic call of Laudato Si’ and multiple voices who are calling for just and green energy transition, urging European religious institutions to sign the statement demanding that the EU Parliament and European Council implement the EU Fit for 55 strategy goal that claims for no gas and nuclear being presented as a sustainable energy in future investments.

About Laudato Si’ Movement

Laudato Si’ Movement serves the Catholic family around the world to turn Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’ into action for climate and ecological justice. Laudato Si’ Movement’s efforts to build a grassroots movement draw on the combined gifts of nearly 800 member organizations and thousands of local volunteers who help bring the Laudato Si’ message to life.