EU Lawmakers Declare Gas, Nuclear Power As ‘Green Energy’
Lawmakers in the European Union voted to include nuclear power and natural gas in the bloc’s list of investments deemed sustainable, a move it hopes will trigger more funding for those sectors but that critics said would slow down the EU’s shift to greener energy sources. [bold, links added]
Opponents of the plan failed to gather enough support for a veto during a vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday, clearing the way for the two energy sources to be included in the EU’s so-called green taxonomy if they meet a series of conditions such as limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The taxonomy, which will affect a range of industries beyond energy, is meant to help funnel more money into projects that the bloc considers to be sustainable and is part of a larger push to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
It doesn’t bar investments in projects that aren’t on the list or prevent European countries from making decisions about their own energy mix.
The debate over whether nuclear energy and natural gas should be included in the taxonomy took on a new dimension in recent months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
About 40% of the gas the EU used last year came from Russia.
Officials from the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, have said natural gas and nuclear energy should be included in the taxonomy under certain conditions because they can help countries transition away from coal.
Burning natural gas produces about half the carbon dioxide that is generated by coal, and nuclear power plants don’t produce carbon dioxide when they are operating.
But environmentalists, lawmakers, and some investors have argued the plan risks diluting investments in other projects such as renewable energy.
Lawmakers also said their case against including natural gas in the taxonomy became stronger after Russia invaded Ukraine because of the EU’s heavy reliance on Russian gas.
Read more at WSJ
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