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Overwhelming majority of Members of European Parliament oppose inclusion of nuclear power in Europe’s taxonomy as ”green”

MEPs set to block plan deeming nuclear and gas energy ‘green’

McGuinness seeks to use EU taxonomy of environmentally sustainable activities

  Irish Times,   Naomi O’Leary, 22 Apr 22, Europe Correspondent   A plan by Ireland’s European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness to classify nuclear and gas energy as “green” is facing major opposition in the European Parliament, with MEPs preparing to block the move.

The so-called EU taxonomy was intended as a classification system to label economic activities that are environmentally sustainable in an attempt to direct private investment to industries that help the green transition.

But an attempt by the commission, fronted by Ms McGuinness, to add gas and nuclear to this list is facing a kill vote in the parliament, backed by MEPs from her own centre-right political group, according to the results of an internal consultation seen by The Irish Times.

  MEPs from the European People’s Party, of which Fine Gael is a member, have joined with those from the centre-left Socialists and Democrats; Renew, of which Fianna Fáil is a member; the Greens; and the Independents’ Left group, to which Sinn Féin is affiliated, to back an objection that could block the change from coming into force.

At the parliament’s environment and economy committees, an overwhelming majority of 115 MEPs chose to object to the commission’s move, with just 23 from the hard-right Identity and Democracy and ECR groups opting to acquiesce to the addition of nuclear and gas to the taxonomy, the results show.

The MEPs now have weeks to approve a joint objection text in committees. It would then go to a full vote in the European Parliament in its July session, where a majority of at least 353 MEPs would be sufficient to stop gas and nuclear being added to the taxonomy.

Russia’s invasion

The majority is easily achievable if the same political groups back the objection as they have in the committee stage. Observers believe that if the commission’s move is blocked in July, there would be little political will to make another attempt given the difficulties that have dogged the file and the additional controversy that now surrounds gas since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine……………………………………………

The move to add green and nuclear to this list is being done as a so-called “delegated act” – something which updates existing EU legislation rather than creating new law, and does not need the usual vote of approval by the European Parliament to come into force. It can, however, be blocked by an objection procedure backed by a majority of MEPs.

The opposition of MEPs to adding gas and nuclear to the taxonomy is grounded in doubts about the inherent merits of the move, but also in opposition to the commission’s method in using a delegated act to do it…………………………..


April 23, 2022 - Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international

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