Labour MEP and former Prime Minister Alfred Sant said nuclear and natural gas energy can help achieve green deal targets as he voted against the revocation of a European Commission plan covering these activities.
The European Commission’s Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act added certain nuclear and gas activities to the EU Taxonomy, which aims to guide private investment to activities that are needed to achieve climate neutrality.
The inclusion of nuclear and natural gas, although under the condition that they contribute to climate neutrality, has prompted huge protests from green activists who lobbied hard for the European Parliament to vote down the Complementary Delegated Act.
Sant acknowledged that nuclear and natural gas are not environmentally neutral. However, he stressed that they offer reasonable transitional paths to environmentally neutral energy.
Moreover, gas and nuclear activities can prove crucial in keeping economies going as public authorities try to reach their anti-global warming goals, he said.
"The inclusion in the 'green' taxonomy of nuclear and gas covers this scenario in the clearest and most transparent manner.
“To be coherent with what I have been advocating for small and peripheral economies, where I argue in favour of special transitional approaches to preserve the competitiveness of such economies, I cannot now in logic vote against an equivalent approach for nuclear and gas bound economies”, Sant said.
278 MEPs voted in favour of the resolution to revoke, 328 against and 33 abstained. An absolute majority of 353 MEPs was needed for the European Parliament to veto the European Commission’s proposal.
If neither the European Parliament, nor the European Council object to the proposal by 11 July 2022, the Taxonomy Delegated Act will come into effect as of 1 January 2023.