Green Finance CEOs Warn UK on Labeling Natural Gas Sustainable

Some of the world’s largest climate finance groups are urging UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government not to classify natural gas as a green investment.

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(Bloomberg) — Some of the world’s largest climate finance groups are urging UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government not to classify natural gas as a green investment. 

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The chief executives of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association said the energy source would undermine the UK’s proposed rulebook for environmentally-friendly investments. The UK plans to allow some natural gas projects to be labeled as sustainable, Bloomberg reported last month. 

“The fundamental objection to natural gas being included in the taxonomy is that it is not green,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the IIGCC, which represents over 51 trillion euros ($54 trillion) in assets under management. “There may be a legitimate role for natural gas as a ‘bridge’ during the energy transition, but this should not be interpreted as gas equating to green.”

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Read more: UK Green Advisers Warn Against Gas Inclusion in ESG Rulebook

Ethical investors who want to avoid funding fossil fuels are increasingly at loggerheads with governments looking to ensure energy security in the wake of risks to supplies from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The fight over natural gas has already played out in the European Union, which ended up proposing some gas projects as sustainable. 

“The UK government has an opportunity here to demonstrate world-leading ambition on climate,” said David Atkin, CEO at the PRI, which represents over $121 trillion in funds. “The UK’s taxonomy can and should aim to demonstrate maximum alignment with a science-based transition.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long added to this report.