January 17, 2022

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Brussels wants a green card for gas and nuclear energy, EU countries are still divided

Brussels wants a green card for gas and nuclear energy, EU countries are still divided

So far, nuclear power plants have been considered unsustainable for several reasons. Uranium is necessary to run a nuclear power plant. This is called a non-renewable resource. Carbon dioxide is emitted during extraction and transportation. The nuclear power plant itself does not emit carbon dioxide, but you end up with radioactive nuclear waste.

Gas is also non-renewable. Gas-fired power plants also emit carbon dioxide, although much less than coal. However, some investments in gas and nuclear power will get a green stamp if the new plans go ahead.

green candles

However, there are conditions attached to the proposal by the European Commission. For example, gas-fired power plants are not allowed to emit much. Emissions must be captured using modern technologies. Nuclear power plants should have good plans for safely storing nuclear waste.

Environmental organizations such as Milieudefensie, Greenpeace and Natuur & Milieu have been responding decisively for some time. They fear that the new rules will in fact become a vehicle for “green bleaching” investments. In other words, investors can fundamentally polish their sustainability profile.

in a Brief The Dutch government at the end of last year were calling on the Council of Ministers not to support the plans. We invite you to [..] Make sure that natural gas is not labeled as sustainable.”

Bad start to the year

To achieve net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050, as the European Union countries want, will require investments of billions of euros. But environmental clubs fear that “we will be stuck in fossil infrastructure for decades to come”.

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MEP Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks) read out the plans on January 1 of the new year. “What a bad start,” he wrote on Twitter.

The European Commission sees it differently. To finally become climate neutral, you can’t ignore gas and nuclear power in the coming years. So the green label is temporary. For gas until 2030 and for nuclear energy until 2045.

The countries are divided

The plans have been discussed for a long time, but the countries still do not agree with each other. France owns and supports many nuclear power plants. Poland is interested in gas, because it now burns mainly coal. Germany strongly opposes nuclear power. Ireland, Luxembourg, Denmark and Spain all oppose these plans.

Various EU countries are still allowed to respond to the European Commission’s plans before voting on the final proposal. If the plans are implemented, they will go into effect in 2023.