The environmental and economic committees in the EU Parliament have spoken out against plans by the EU Commission to temporarily classify nuclear power and gas as environmentally friendly energies. According to the EU Parliament, the joint decision on Tuesday was made by 76 votes to 62 with 4 abstentions. The Brussels authority had proposed including the two energy sources in the so-called taxonomy – a kind of catalog for investors who help projects in the fight against the climate crisis.
The next session of the entire parliament will now be decisive. If it also rejects the regulation in July, it will not come into force. The Commission would then have to withdraw or amend its proposal. The classification as sustainable within the framework of the taxonomy is intended to stimulate investments in certain economic sectors.
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“This is a first smack against the attempt by Commission President von der Leyen to declare nuclear power and gas as green through the back door,” said Green MEP Michael Bloss. Every euro is needed for solar and wind power. The German leader of the Green Party, Ricarda Land, also welcomed the decision.
The economic policy spokesman for the Christian Democratic EPP Group, Markus Ferber, emphasized: “There is simply no appetite on the market for a taxonomy with nuclear energy and gas.” A sign of a credible standard has been set, according to the CSU politician.
The economic and financial policy spokesman for the SPD MEPs, Joachim Schuster, said on the decisive vote in the plenum: “The decision of the entire European Parliament will show how serious the MEPs really are with environmental and climate protection in Europe.”
Environmentalists were also happy about the committee’s decision. “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” wrote Luisa Neubauer, activist from Fridays for Future, on Twitter. Greenpeace finance expert Mauricio Vargas said: “This is the first step in correcting a historic mistake by the EU. Anyone who wants to call gas and nuclear sustainable would also sell french fries as a salad.”