The European People’s Party has acknowledged the role nuclear energy can play as a low-carbon technology in the national energy mix. It said it supported it“provided sufficient provisions are made for the highest safety standards as well as for decommissioning, taking into account cross-border issues.”

Their statement comes after the European Commission proposed the inclusion of nuclear energy and fossil gas in the so-called ‘Taxonomy Regulation’ which sets out criteria that define green investments.

The European Commission has released to member states a draft of the complementary Delegated Act of the EU Taxonomy Regulation for consultation . This covers certain gas and nuclear activities. The Commission noted that in light of respective assessments “it is necessary to recognise that the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Union’s economy.”

“The taxonomy rules are very important to direct private money and investments in the right direction for the Green Deal. By clearly defining the list of energy included, we offer much-needed clarity to investors”, stressed de Lange.

Nuclear power is a contentious issue for the EU, as it pits two opposing Member State groups against each other, led by the two biggest, namely France and Germany.

It also divides many political groups along national fault lines; Finnish Green MEPs for example, support nuclear as part of a coalition government in Helsinki. Finland is one of ten EU Member States calling for nuclear to be included in the Taxonomy proposals in a letter to the Commission last autumn. 

Esther de Lange, the EPP Group Vice-Chair in charge of the Green Deal, said the EU also needs gas to reduce Europe’s CO2 emissions. ”Not for ever and everywhere, but for a transitional period and in certain situations,” she said.

“Gas is the cleanest fossil energy source and gas infrastructure can be used in the future to transport clean hydrogen - produced by renewable energy - which has a huge potential as an energy carrier in transport and industry,” she said.

“By using gas as a bridge technology, we can achieve CO2 reductions faster by moving away from, for example, coal without having to wait for fully carbon-free technologies to be widely available. In many parts of the EU, gas can help bridge the gap and help us get concrete results faster”, she added.

 

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-media house initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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