EU Nations Quarrel Over Whether Nuclear, Gas Are 'green'


EU nations quarrel over whether nuclear, gas are 'green'

Amiens, France, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jan, 2022 ) :Hours before the window for lodging objections closes, EU environment and energy ministers meeting in France Friday differed sharply on a European Commission provision that would classify nuclear and natural gas energy as "sustainable".

The controversy pits countries led by France -- where nuclear generates a world-leading 70 percent of electricity -- against Germany, Austria and others in the 27-nation bloc.

Debate over the Commission's so-called "taxonomy" is not on the agenda of the informal, three-day talks in Amiens, but flared nonetheless.

In late December the European Commission unveiled a classification labelling investment in nuclear gas-based energy as sustainable, in order to favour sectors that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming.

Nuclear power is carbon-free, and gas is significantly less polluting than coal.

Countries in the European Union had until midnight Friday to suggest modifications.

After that, the Commission -- taking these suggestions into account -- must "rapidly" publish a final text that will be definitely adopted four months later.

Passage in its current form seems more than likely: it would take a majority of deputies in the EU parliament or 20 of the 27 members states to derail it, and critical mass is lacking in both cases.

A letter to the executive European Commission from some European Parliament deputies protesting that the period for suggesting changes was too short has fallen on deaf ears.

And among EU member states, a dozen have backed France's position and the Commission's proposed taxonomy.

Many are central European nations looking to switch from carbon-intensive coal-fired power to natural gas.

"Nuclear is a decarbonised energy," French environment minister Barbara Pompili told journalists in Amiens.

"We cannot deprive ourselves of it at the same time that we need to very rapidly reduce our carbon emissions."