EU governments are divided over whether to delay green investment rules

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Brussels, April 20- European Union countries are divided over whether to delay landmark green investment regulations with eight heads of government on Tuesday urging Brussels to put back the rules a day before it is due to publish them.

The rules of the European Commission, known as the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, include a list of green activities and the criteria they must meet to be labelled as economic investments in the EU from next year.

The aim is to attract private capital into activities that help the EU meet its climate objectives.

But the regime has become a battleground for lobbying from governments who disagree over what should be labeled green.

A draft proposal by the Commission, which was seen last week by Reuters, lays out regulations for different sectors, including transport, industry and buildings. But it delays decisions on whether nuclear power plants and natural gas fuelled energy can be classed as green- two key issues that divide EU countries.

On Tuesday the prime ministers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and five other countries wrote to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, opposing the plan to delay gas and nuclear power and urging the Commission to only publish the rules when they can address all energy technologies.

Even if it costs a delay in adopting the legislation, the objective of having relevant and relevant rules for all necessary technologies and sources of energy is worth it, the letter, seen by Reuters, said.

It was also signed by the President of Slovakia and the prime ministers of Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Cyprus.

Separately, seven EU countries including Germany, Spain and Austria wrote on April 16 to the Commission urging it not to delay the rules.

Market participants who need legal certainty next year need now, said the letter, also signed by Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg.

The Commission hoped to finish the rules in January, but delayed this plan until April after its original proposal- which gave gas power plants a green label- triggered pushback from central and eastern states which see fuel as necessary to ditch more-polluting coal.

This view clashes with the position of the EU's expert advisors on the regime, and some generally wealthier western and Nordic states which label gas, a fossil fuel, as green would undermine the EU policies to fight climate change.

The Commission could not be reached immediately for comment. How do I get started?

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