Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Friday, Mar 24, 2023

Climate change: EU moves to label nuclear and gas as sustainable despite internal row

Climate change: EU moves to label nuclear and gas as sustainable despite internal row

Nuclear and natural gas energy plants could be counted as "green energy" under controversial EU plans just unveiled.

The European Commission says it has decided that both types of energy can classify as "sustainable investment" if they meet certain targets.

But the move has divided the EU, and been fiercely opposed by some members.

Austria's chancellor responded to the news by saying "nuclear power is neither green nor sustainable".

"I cannot understand the decision of the EU," Karl Nehammer said.

He said he would back his environment minister, Leonore Gewessler, in pursuing legal action at the European Court of Justice if the plans go ahead.

"This decision is wrong," Ms Gewessler said. "The EU Commission today agreed its greenwashing programme for nuclear energy and [the fossil fuel] natural gas."

Luxembourg has also said it will join in legal action.

The EU has set itself a goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050 and the Commission argues that to get there, a great deal of private investment is needed. Its proposals are meant to guide investors.

Spain, too, has strongly objected to the idea which was debated for months before being formally proposed on Wednesday.

But those objections are balanced by support from nuclear-using nations such as France. Nuclear energy involves fewer carbon emissions but has different safety concerns and requires disposal of dangerous waste.

Classifying natural gas as "sustainable" also has supporters who argue that some countries which still rely on coal for energy - such as Poland - would benefit from incentives to move to a relatively cleaner supply.

Germany, a powerful country in EU politics, relies heavily on gas in its own energy mix though its environment minister, Steffi Lemke, has criticised the plans.

Battle ahead

EU officials were keen to stress that the change was not a requirement for any state or company to invest in gas or nuclear.

It is instead a highly technical set of rules, called the "EU Taxonomy", about what classifies as "sustainable" so that private investors can decide where to put funds, the commission says.

It also regulates what can be said to be environmentally friendly, so that climate-conscious investors can make informed decisions.

The list is supposed to recognise green projects that make a "substantial" contribution to at least one of the EU's environmental goals, "while not significantly harming any" of them.

Commission officials point to the strict limits on what qualifies. For example, natural gas generation is under a strict CO2 emissions limit, and a requirement to switch to low-carbon gas by 2035. Nuclear power, meanwhile, must be in countries with clear plans and funding for dealing with nuclear waste.

Critics, however, have accused the EU of so-called "greenwashing" - precisely what it says its classification system is supposed to avoid.

But the decision to label both controversial industries as "green" is not yet final.

In addition to the threat of legal action from Austria and Luxembourg, the European Parliament and the council of heads of state have four months to consider the suggestion and object to it.

Commissioner Mairead McGuinness argues that every tool to reach climate targets must be used

The bar is, however, relatively high. In order to block the commission's proposed plans, either a majority of parliament members or at least 20 of the 27 national leaders are needed.

Green parties, which together with independents and others form one of the main power blocs in the European Parliament, are fiercely campaigning against the plan.

But European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said "we need to use all the tools at our disposal" to reach the climate-neutral target.

Private investment was "key", she said, and the proposals were "setting out strict conditions to help mobilise finance to support this transition, away from more harmful energy sources like coal".

What is climate change?


Related Articles

Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, has provided a list of five areas that he believes the black community needs to address.
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and JD.com, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
The desk of King Carlos Alberto of Sardinia has many secret compartments
Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023