The majority of the 27 member countries of the EU voted on Thursday to recognize the role of gas and nuclear power in the fight against climate change, which will facilitate financing, we learned from corroborating sources.
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The European Commission must propose before the end of the year a list of energies considered as virtuous both for the climate and the environment (“green taxonomy”). This classification will open access to green finance and give a competitive advantage to recognized sectors. The subject divides the Twenty-Seven. But at the summit of heads of state and government on Thursday in Brussels,
"a very large majority of member states"
wanted to include both gas and nuclear in this list of sustainable investments, a European diplomat told AFP. Two others confirmed the existence of a “majority” of favorable countries. The gas price crisis seems to have created a favorable context for nuclear power. Despite everything, taxonomy should not be mentioned in the conclusions of the summit, for lack of consensus.
In mid-October, ten EU states, including France, published an opinion piece supporting nuclear power on the grounds that it does not emit CO2 and is part of the solutions to fight against global warming, but also that it contributes to European energy independence.
This text was also signed by Romania, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary.
The Netherlands recently joined this position.
Other countries such as Germany, Austria and Luxembourg are fiercely opposed to it, like several NGOs which pinpoint the problem of the very long-term storage of radioactive waste.
Gas-fired power stations emit CO2, but much less than coal and, like nuclear power, they represent a stable and controllable source of electricity which can provide a necessary complement to renewable sources (solar, wind turbines) when sun and wind are absent.
The “taxonomy” should be proposed soon by the Commission, which has not yet set any precise deadline.
This proposal could be rejected by MEPs or a majority of Member States.
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At the beginning of October, the vice-president of the European executive Valdis Dombrovskis defended nuclear power during a meeting of finance ministers.
"It is important that we recognize the role of nuclear as low carbon energy in our effort"
to reduce CO2 emissions, said the Latvian official.
In a report delivered at the end of March, the scientific service of the Commission (JRC) estimated that
"no analysis provides scientific evidence that nuclear energy harms human health or the environment more than other energies"
likely to integrate taxonomy.