Brussels is planning to include energy from nuclear power and natural gas into the list of ‘green’ sources for investment. If a majority of member nations back the decision, it will become EU law, coming into effect from next year.
In its shifting towards a carbon-neutral future, the EU is discussing the idea to label nuclear and gas as the sources of ‘green’ energy. In case of approval, the law gild the EU’s credentials as a global standard-setter for fighting climate change.
It is worth to note that the European Commission has quietly distributed the text to member states late Friday, in the final hours of 2021. On Jan 1st, the EC confirmed it has started consulting with member nations on the proposal where it covers nuclear and gas energy.
“The activities covered in this complementary Delegated Act would accelerate the phase out of more harmful sources, such as coal, and in moving us towards a more low-carbon greener energy mix,” commission said.
According to the EU, it “considers there is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future”.
The EU nations will have to agree on terms
While France insists that nuclear power should become ‘green’, Germany calls the move “a mistake”, arguing that atomic power “can lead to devastating environmental catastrophes”. Austria also criticised the project, denouncing nuclear power as “an energy of the past” that was “too expensive and too slow” to combat climate change.
Its proposal calls for the building of new nuclear power plants to be conditioned on permits given out before 2045, and work to extend the functioning of existing plants would need to be authorised before 2040.
The EU members and experts consulted by the commission have two weeks to demand revisions to the proposal before a final draft is published in mid-January.
The European Parliament would then have four months to either approve or reject the text with a simple vote.