Gas sustainable and nuclear energy too – Green taxonomy turns out to be a political powder keg – Foodlog

The green taxonomy is not a law, but a list with which the European Commission provides investors with clarity about what a sustainable investment can be called. It is an advice but not a prescription for financiers. By making clear which energy sources in the European Union do or do not receive a ‘green stamp’, investments can be steered. As a result of the advice, the EU should actually be climate neutral by 2050, as agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement. But there has been constant haggling about it.

In the green taxonomy, in addition to solar panels and windmills, nuclear energy and modern gas-fired power stations are also given this coveted green status. Under strict conditions: until 2030, gas-fired power stations may only be built new to replace coal-fired power stations and do not emit more than 270 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour and after 2030 not even more than 100 grams. The permit for a new nuclear power plant must be issued before 2045 and there must be sound plans for the storage of the nuclear waste.

Austrian Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler has already asked for a legal opinion and are investigating. Green and socialist MEPs investigate legal avenues


The present proposal seems to be a compromise between the 2 largest Member States, Germany (which is taking its nuclear power stations out of production but has to convert its coal-fired power stations and sees gas as a means of transition) and France (which gets 70% of its energy production from nuclear energy and wants to continue to do so). ). “The European Commission could also have chosen to be strict with both large member states,” says MEP Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks) disappointed in the decision. Financial Newspaper. “Now they’ve both kind of got their way.”

“Still, I estimate the consequences to be limited, if it happens,” says Kees van der Leun in Fidelity. After all, it is only about a green label, not about policy plans and a clear path for EU subsidies. With a ‘green quality mark’ there are more favorable financial conditions for the construction of nuclear or gas plants. More opportunities for new nuclear power plants, because they are cheaper to finance (including those two Dutch!) and more opportunities for Eastern European countries that want to replace their lignite and coal plants with gas plants. Van der Leun does not expect any major shifts in the energy mix of Europe as a whole.

‘Legal Mud Fight’
Eickhout expects a ‘legal mud fight’ as several member states, especially those with green energy and climate ministers, will oppose the proposal. For example, Austrian Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler has already asked for a legal opinion and green and socialist MEPs are also investigating legal avenues. Will it make a difference? “In all likelihood they are fighting windmills,” writes Knack.

Because however high the discussion within the European Parliament may be, Parliament can only block the proposal if a majority votes against. And with 2 of the 3 largest political groups (Christian Democrats and Liberals) in favour, the chances are slim. The same goes for the Member States: the proposal can only be blocked if 20 of the 27 vote against and who together represent at least 65% of the EU population. So far, only Germany, Spain, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal and Denmark have spoken out against nuclear energy in the taxonomy. The Netherlands is in favor of nuclear energy but against gas and is still studying the Commission proposal.

And so the European Commission seems to be running a race that has been won in advance with the taxonomy. Give the most and most important Member States what they want and they will also agree to what they do not want, is the motto.

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Gas sustainable and nuclear energy too – Green taxonomy turns out to be a political powder keg – Foodlog

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