Nuclear energy receives the green label if a plant meets all kinds of technical requirements and has a credible plan for handling its nuclear waste. Gas plants are only recognized as green if they are below a CO limit.2emissions remain.
In doing so, the Commission recognizes nuclear energy and gas as temporary and ‘transitional’ forms of green energy, en route to a climate neutral Europe by 2050. The green label will expire in 2045 for new nuclear power plants, and in 2030 for new gas-fired power plants.
The proposal, which will likely be officially presented later this month, is part of the so-called taxonomy that the European Union wants to introduce. In this taxonomy, all forms of energy production are labeled as sustainable or less sustainable.
The EU hoped this would meet the needs of investors, such as pension funds, who often seek sustainable investments. Taxonomy should put an end to “greenwashing”, by investing in projects with a green label which in reality do not meet environmental requirements. Taxonomy can help attract capital for renewable energy investments, which is important for the EU to be climate neutral by 2050.
In recent months, a fierce political battle over nuclear energy and gas has been fought within the EU over the past month. A group of countries led by France wanted nuclear energy to be labeled green, because nuclear power plants do not produce CO2 expel. But according to critics, including the Greens in the European Parliament, nuclear energy is not sustainable because it is generated from the finished raw material uranium. In addition, nuclear power plants produce nuclear waste.
Gas is also a raw material which can run out. When electricity is produced by gas, CO.2 excluded. But according to the Member States of Southern and Eastern Europe, gas-fired power stations are considerably less polluting than coal-fired power stations. They see gas as indispensable for the time being in the transition to truly sustainable forms of energy, like sun and wind.
The Commission has now determined that gas-fired power stations which meet certain conditions can be classified as green. For example, they should not exceed 270 grams of CO2 emitted per kilowatt hour. EU advisers had recommended a limit of 100 grams. The draft proposal will now be considered by Member States and a panel of experts. The Commission will make a final proposal later this month. Member States and the European Parliament can object after the proposal has been presented.
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