The European parliament has declared natural gas and nuclear energy as green energy. Parliament approved the Taxonomy Delegated Act to include specific nuclear and gas energy activities under certain conditions.
The measure was passed by 328 votes and 278 votes were cast in the opposition while absentees were 33. EU parliament needs 353 members absolute majority to veto any proposal.
Now natural gas and nuclear energy are a part of Europe’s green taxonomy which will start next year and the Act will come into force on 1 January 2023. EU may face legal issues for implementing the proposals as Austria and Luxembourg decided to challenge the proposal in court. And even some NPOs are also planning to challenge the proposal in EU court, they believe that the proposal violates some Important EU climate laws.
Taxonomy is a framework for attracting capital to the energy sectors for sustainable development goals.
European Council believes that it is the only way for certain countries to transition toward green energy and for fulfilling the SDG’s goals. The proposal has included certain gas and nuclear activities in a time-limited manner and under specific conditions.
The proposal includes the gas projects for replacing coal energy which produces only 270 grams of CO2 per kWh energy or if they produce only 550 kg of CO2 average per kWh energy in a year over 20 years. It also includes plants which will have to switch to low carbon or renewable energy by 2035. In this proposal, nuclear plants are also permitted by 2045 without harming the environment and water resources.
EU commission felt that it is a pragmatic and realistic approach which will help member countries to move forward toward climate neutrality.
However, several economists, environmentalists, policy experts and non-profit organizations are criticizing the proposal. Critics said that the new proposal is more political in approach rather than based on scientific evidence, and the proposal will push the EU toward financing the Putin war strategy rather than curb the gas purchase. It’s also a concern for them that the capital will transfer to nuclear infrastructure from renewable sources.