European Commission Declares Nuclear and Gas to be Green

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From Deutsche Welle

The European Commission has labeled nuclear and gas as sustainable. Critics are calling the step “greenwashing” and say it could threaten the bloc’s bid to become climate-neutral by 2050.,the%20bloc%27s%20bid%20to%20become%20climate-neutral%20by%202050.

One good way to know someone is trustworthy is that they tell you how trustworthy (credible) they are.

In a proposal presented this Wednesday, the EU Commission stated that certain strings remained attached. For example, gas plants could only be considered green if the facility switched to low-carbon or renewable gases, such as biomass or hydrogen produced with renewable energy, by 2035.

Nuclear power plants would be deemed green if the sites can manage to safely dispose of radioactive waste. So far, worldwide, no permanent disposal site, has gone into operation though.

At a news conference in Brussels, Mairead McGuinness, the EU commissioner responsible for financial services, said her institution was not guilty of “greenwashing,” as gas and nuclear were labeled as “transitional” energy sources in the taxonomy. “Our credibility is still strong,” McGuinness added.,the%20bloc%27s%20bid%20to%20become%20climate-neutral%20by%202050.

Not everyone was happy.

Environmental organizations most certainly see this critically, saying the proposal could jeopardize the EU’s aim to reach climate neutrality by 2050. The Climate Action Network Europe wrote that the EU Commission “sacrifices the scientific integrity of the taxonomy on the altar of fossil gas and nuclear lobbies” and failed to “reorient financial flows towards genuinely climate-positive investments.”,the%20bloc%27s%20bid%20to%20become%20climate-neutral%20by%202050.

It’s a comprehensive article and well worth a read.

What happens next?

The European Commission’s taxonomy proposal will now be reviewed by the 27 EU member states and by the European Parliament. 

As the EU’s executive opted for a delegated act, a type of fast-track legislative procedure, only a total of 20 EU countries, or a majority of EU lawmakers at the European Parliament, would be able to reject it.

While EU states are not likely to turn down the taxonomy, a win in the European Parliament is not yet certain. Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum have expressed anger over the inclusion of fossil gas and nuclear power in the EU taxonomy.

Green lawmaker Rasmus Andresen said he was “disappointed” by the proposal, adding that the Green parliamentary fraction would fight hard to gather a majority against the taxonomy.

German Social Democrat Joachim Schuster told DW he thought it possible that the European Parliament could vote against the act. 

And even if lawmakers were to support it, there is another threat looming: Austria and Luxembourg have already threatened to sue  the European Commission over the taxonomy rules.,the%20bloc%27s%20bid%20to%20become%20climate-neutral%20by%202050.

via Watts Up With That?

July 7, 2022