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France holds up EU energy agreement over nuclear power

Paris withdraws support for renewable targets law as it seeks inclusion of hydrogen produced with atomic power Alice Hancock in Brussels and Sarah White in Paris MAY 18 2023

France is leading a coalition of countries holding up agreement on EU-wide targets for renewable energy, as it makes a fresh drive for better treatment of its nuclear industry. The move comes amid a broader pushback against the bloc’s climate agenda as the realities of what is required for the green transition become increasingly apparent.

The EU’s 27 member states were due to agree an overall target of 42.5 per cent of renewable power in the bloc’s energy mix by 2030 on Wednesday.

But France, which relies on nuclear power for the majority of its electricity, signalled that it would not support the text, citing concerns that “low-carbon” hydrogen generated with electricity from atomic power plants would not be counted as part of the targets.

…………….. The vote, which was pulled from the agenda of an ambassadors’ meeting at 11.30pm on Tuesday, would have paved the way for the targets to become EU law following their approval in the European parliament……………………………………..

French officials have in the past rejected criticism that they are promoting the interests of its nuclear industry by arguing that EU rules allow countries to choose their own energy sources. Its fleet of nuclear power plants already give it lower greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP than many of its neighbours, although it has missed EU targets for building renewables.

Six pro-nuclear countries, including the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Hungary, followed Paris’s lead on Wednesday and withheld support for the directive. Meanwhile, anti-nuclear governments, including in Germany and Austria, have been strongly opposed to recognising nuclear power as a clean fuel………………………………


May 24, 2023 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics international

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