T&E: Polluting planes and ships kill EU Taxonomy

Sustainable energy

Belgium – As the EU Commission released its amended list of sustainable investments, fossil fuel-powered aircraft and vessels may now qualify as “green” investments.

The decision to include harmful aircraft and maritime activities has been referred to as the “nail in the coffin” of the EU Taxonomy by T&E.

Even though they still use fossil fuels, investments in more “efficient” ships and aircraft would now be regarded as environmentally friendly. Thus, millions of euros could be sent towards some of Europe’s worst polluters, including Airbus, Ryanair, and MSC.

Faig Abbasov, shipping director at T&E, said: “The inclusion of polluting planes and ships is the nail in the coffin of the EU’s Taxonomy. If planes running on oil and ships running on gas are now considered sustainable, there is little hope for the Taxonomy. Europe’s lawmakers must vote down this measure and save what’s left of it.”


The aviation industry fought to have new, supposedly “efficient,” fossil-fueled planes categorised as green investments. Over a third of the future fleet of low-cost airline giant Ryanair would meet the criteria under the EU’s taxonomy, while more than 90% of Airbus’ order book could be categorised as green.

LNG-powered ships

Moreover, a hole for LNG-powered cargo and cruise ships is provided by the Taxonomy update. According to the Classification, LNG-fueled ships release less CO2 than ships propelled by conventional shipping fuels. However, LNG typically has worse climatic effects than the conventional fuels it replaces because to methane escapes and downstream emissions, which are ignored by the EU’s standards. Because they will continue to receive green financing for entirely fossil fuel-powered ships, shipping behemoths like MSC and Carnival Cruises have no reason to invest in green shipping fuels.