The European Parliament supports the “green” label for investments in nuclear and gas
The European Parliament voted on Wednesday (July 6) to award the green investment label for nuclear and gas projects, amid strong protests by environmental activists against such a label. ” treason “ commitments of MEPs in favor of the climate.
A motion to veto the European Commission’s proposal to include nuclear and gas in the EU’s green taxonomy was defeated by 328 votes to 278.
A minimum of 353 votes was needed to reject the plan, which means it is now officially approved by the European Parliament.
To become law, the proposal to include nuclear and gas in the EU’s green taxonomy must also be voted on by the Union’s Council of Ministers, where all 27 member states are represented.
However, a majority of 20 countries is needed to veto the proposal in Council, making a rejection highly unlikely.
Objection to the inclusion of nuclear and gas in EU green finance taxonomy is rejected: 278 votes in favour, 328 votes against.
This means the proposal goes through: nuclear and gas are now officially recognized as “transitional” activities under the taxonomy. pic.twitter.com/G6se90ZUoi
— Frederic Simon (@FredSimonEU) July 6, 2022
On Twitter, Luxembourg’s energy minister said he would challenge the decision in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
“Luxembourg and Denmark will file a complaint and the Court will rule on its legality” of such a decision, wrote Claude Turmes, saying he deeply regrets Parliament’s decision.
The demonstrators present in the hemicycle reacted immediately after the vote, wearing T-shirts on which one could read the word ” treason “ and treating MEPs of “traitors”.
Michael Bloss, a German Green MEP, denounced the “madness” of labeling nuclear and gas as sustainable investments, saying that this would keep Europe dependent on Russian fossil fuels for many years to come.
“France‘s nuclear reactors and landfills will be renovated and new fossil gas infrastructure will be created”Mr. Bloss explained in a press release. “No serious bank will trust this taxonomy”he added, adding that the Greens were now preparing to take legal action against the decision.
Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist behind the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement, reacted coldly on Twitter, saying the vote will delay the green transition and “will deepen our dependence on Russian fuels”.
“The hypocrisy is striking, but unfortunately not surprising”has she added.
The European Parliament just voted to label fossil gas as “green” energy. This will delay a desperately needed real sustainable transition and deepen our dependency on Russian fuels. The hypocrisy is striking, but unfortunately not surprising.
This is still #NotMyTaxonomy
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) July 6, 2022
Pascal Canfin, a French MEP who chairs the Parliament’s Environment Committee, sought to assuage the concerns of environmental activists, recalling that the taxonomy does not allow all gas investments to be given a blank check.
“The conditions set by the taxonomy for gas are clear: gas can only replace coal until 2030, at emission thresholds that are not considered dangerous and with reinforced transparency obligations”does he have explained on Twitter.
Nuclear Europe, an industry association, congratulated MEPs on the vote, saying Parliament had taken a “science-based decision” to include nuclear in the taxonomy.
“It is fantastic to see that in the European Parliament a majority has decided to listen to the experts and make the right decision”said Yves Desbazeille, Managing Director of Nuclear Europe.
“We have less than 30 years to decarbonize our economy in a sustainable way. By listening to the science, these MEPs boosted the EU’s chances of achieving this ambitious goal. »
Eurogas, an industry lobby group, also welcomed the news, saying Parliament’s decision “provides an appropriate framework” for future investments.
However, the group believes that the EU executive’s taxonomy proposal “could have done more to promote coal phase-out and adoption of better technologies”such as hydrogen and renewable gases.
“It is also crucial that we remove bottlenecks for imports of diversified natural gas and LNG [gaz naturel liquéfié]as well as renewable hydrogen”said James Watson, Secretary General of Eurogas.
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