Nuclear power and gas: resistance to EU plans

Nuclear power and gas: resistance to EU plans

Updated on 06/14/2022 at 15:48

  • The European Commission’s plans to classify nuclear energy and gas as “sustainable” are met with resistance in the European Parliament.
  • The two competent committees voted against, the plenary has yet to vote.
  • The EU wants to become climate neutral by 2050.

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The European Commission’s plans to classify nuclear energy and gas as “sustainable” are met with resistance in the European Parliament. The committees responsible for the environment and economy voted in Brussels on Tuesday against including both forms of energy in the so-called green taxonomy. Green MEPs called this a “serious defeat” for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

In early February, the von der Leyen authority had proposed including nuclear power and fossil natural gas in a list of sustainable energy sources in addition to wind and sun. The objective is to stimulate investment. With the help of the Taxonomy Regulation, the EU aims to implement its climate plans – the “Green Deal” – and become climate neutral by 2050.

Taxonomy: Nuclear power and gas must become “sustainable”.

However, the proposal failed in the parliamentary committees responsible for the environment and economy: 76 deputies voted against, 62 voted in favor, there were four abstentions. The vote was considered an important test of humor for the plenary debate in the first week of July. The Greens’ energy expert in the European Parliament, Jutta Paulus, spoke of a “clear signal to stop the green laundering of nuclear energy and gas”.

Greenpeace said lawmakers had refused “to pump more money into Putin’s war machine”. The environmental organization criticizes that Russia, despite the war in Ukraine, continues to supply natural gas to Germany and other EU countries.

In the Berlin traffic light coalition, the Greens in particular oppose the sustainability label for nuclear energy. On the other hand, the federal government defends the classification of gas as transitional energy. (AFP/okb)