The EU is planning to label energy from nuclear power and natural gas as “green” sources for investment despite internal disagreement over whether they truly qualify as sustainable options.
But the fact the European Commission quietly distributed the text to member states late Friday, in the final hours of 2021 after the much-delayed document had been twice promised earlier in the year, highlighted the rocky road to draft it.
If a majority of member states back it, it will become EU law, coming into effect from 2023.
Very few people would agree that natural gas is “green”, but many EU nations need to use it while they transition to truly green energy sources. It is disputed whether nuclear power is green, even within the EU. France believes it is, and most of its electricity it generated this way. However Germany is closing all its nuclear power stations.
The Union will need to double its overall electricity production over the next 30 years and the internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said that the European Union needed to be “pragmatic”. “[It] is simply not possible without nuclear power”.
The 27 nations now need to agree the Commission’s proposal for it to become law.