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Angry response in Europe to the draft European Commission plans to accept nuclear power as ”climate-friendly” – eligible for tax-payer financial help.

BRUSSELS (AP) — Draft European Union plans that would allow nuclear and gas energy to remain part of the bloc’s path to a climate-friendly future came under immediate criticism over the weekend from both environmentalists and some governing political parties in EU member nations.

In draft conclusions seen by The Associated Press, the EU’s executive commission proposes a classification system for defining what counts as an investment in sustainable energy. Under certain conditions, it would allow gas and nuclear energy to be part of the mix.

The plans would have a huge impact on nuclear-fired economies like France and on Germany’s gas-fueled power plants since they might have had to fundamentally change their strategies.

….. The plans still need the backing of a large majority of the 27 member states and a simple majority in the European Parliament. But the initial thrust from the EU Commission is a key element of the procedure for passage.

“Classifying investments in gas and nuclear power as sustainable contradicts the Green Deal,” the EU’s initiative that is intended to make the bloc climate-neutral by 2050, said Ska Keller, the president of the Green group in the European Parliament.

…..German Economy Minister Robert Habeck criticized the plan to classify investments in gas and nuclear power plants as climate-friendly.

“The EU Commission’s proposals water down the good label for sustainability,” Habeck, who represents the Germany’s environmentalist Greens in the country’s coalition government, told German news agency dpa. “We don’t see how to approve the new proposals of the EU Commission,” he said.

“In any case, it is questionable whether this greenwashing will even find acceptance on the financial market,” Habeck stressed, referring to the practice of painting investments as sustainable when they actually are not.

In Austria, Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler from the Greens also sharply rejected the proposed regulation, saying “the EU Commission took a step towards greenwashing nuclear power and fossil gas in a night and fog action.”

“They are harmful to the climate and the environment and destroy the future of our children,” Gewessler said.

The environmental NGO Greenpeace called the Commission draft proposals “a licence to greenwash.”

“Polluting companies will be delighted to have the EU’s seal of approval to attract cash and keep wrecking the planet by burning fossil gas and producing radioactive waste, said Greenpeace’s Magda Stoczkiewicz.

Especially nuclear power remains extremely controversial in Europe, where many are still vividly remember the fear following the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine. In Germany, children weren’t allowed to play outside anymore for months, couldn’t go mushroom hunting for years and the farmers had to destroy their entire harvest the year it happened……….

January 3, 2022 - Posted by | climate change, EUROPE

1 Comment »

  1. The EU won’t get far with the argument. Germany is shutting down 3 of its 6 nuclear plants and they basically ignore the EU positions. There is a free PDF report from IEA named NetZero2050 that has a wealth of information. The report clearly states nuclear is not a re-renewable energy source. I have the feeling most of our politicians haven’t glanced at it. Thank you for keeping at it with a very good and informative blog.

    Comment by Dennis Cambly | January 4, 2022 | Reply

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