Home WORLD EUROPA EU approves classification of gas and nuclear as ‘green’ energy

EU approves classification of gas and nuclear as ‘green’ energy


A controversial document presented in January by the European Commission proposed a classification system to define what counts as an investment in sustainable energy, such as the production of electricity in nuclear power plants – which do not emit CO2 – or gas power plants.

However, the latter must mobilize the most advanced technologies, which would make it possible to close more polluting coal-fired power stations.

The adoption of this classification allows the mobilization of private funds in these projects, hitherto reserved for renewable energies. It is part of the carbon neutrality objective of theEU fixed in 2050.

Meeting on Wednesday in plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs adopted the text, rejecting a veto proposal with a majority of 328 votes. The objection received 278 votes. An absolute majority of 353 votes was required to block the Commission’s text.

The green light from the Member States having already been granted, the opponents of the project have already announced that they would launch legal proceedings, the only means now available to block the initiative.

I ask you not to reject this fragile compromise carefully negotiatedhowever, asked Wednesday morning the Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose country has just taken over from France the rotating presidency of theEU.

Nuclear power and gas from safe countries will be the only means for some Member States to achieve our common climate goals in the years to come. »

A quote from Petr Fiala, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Anger among environmentalists

The recognition of the contribution of gas and nuclear to the fight against climate change, based on the basis of expert reports, has aroused the anger of environmental organizations which denounce an ecological masquerade (” greenwashing “).

During the first rallies of opponents of the project which took place on Tuesday, the Dutchman Bas Eickhout, a member of the green left, then launched: how can we ask other countries to reduce their use of fossil fuels if we classify them as green?

On Wednesday morning, a few dozen “pro” and “anti” nuclear activists demonstrated face to face in order to challenge the deputies on their arrival at the European Parliament.

The members voted on Wednesday on a proposal for objection, previously adopted on June 14 by the parliamentary committees Economic Affairs and Environment, synonymous with veto against the text of the European executive.

No one is saying that gas and nuclear are green energies, but they are temporarily essential for the transition. We must use all the tools to do away with oil and coal firsthad then underlined the French deputy Gilles Boyer.

Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, who came to defend her text in Strasbourg, argued that the new taxonomy ofEU prioritizes renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The EU executive concedes that renewable energies alone will not be able to meet the growing demand for electricity due to their intermittent production.

Hence the need, at least on a transitional basis, to also promote investment in stable and controllable means such as gas and nuclear.

Only eight countries, including Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, had expressed their opposition to the green classification given to gas and nuclear during consultations led by the French Presidency of the Council of theEUfar from there super majority of 20 countries needed to block the project.

France, which wants to relaunch its nuclear industry, and central European countries such as Poland, which must replace their coal-fired power stations, are behind the Commission.

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