The renunciation of declaring nuclear energy as green will impoverish many citizens.
The European Parliament has voted by a majority against revising the so-called EU taxonomy delegated act, which at this stage does not count gas and nuclear energy as sustainable investments for the future. According to the ECR Group, this misses an important opportunity to make electricity generation affordable and stable.
In this regard, ECR MEPs Alexandr Vondra and Bogdan Rzońca had tabled a resolution against the Commission’s delegated regulation 2021/2753 (DEA) which failed by 227 in favour, 428 against and 31 abstentions. Both MEPs warned against establishing criteria that exclude precisely these two sectors. Gas and nuclear can generate a stable and affordable energy supply and swiftly cut emissions if they get proper access to the capital needed for sustainable transition.
With this considered, the ECR Group sees gas as a useful bridge technology, while nuclear can provide a long-term solution to Europe’s energy needs.
Speaking after the announcement of the results ahead of the debate on high energy prices, Mr Vondra said:
“We believe that the Commission has not adequately considered the long-term effects and broader implications of the so-called taxonomy, including the risk of energy poverty among Union citizens. The European Parliament has had a chance to prevent the worst from happening. The scenario of high energy prices that we are currently experiencing will get worse in the future if we switch our energy production too early towards so-called renewable sources.
“A climate-friendly energy transformation must be founded on an evidence-based policy that provides growth opportunities, is achievable in every European region, and protects citizens’ interests. The majority of MEPs did not properly take this into consideration. We are facing dark times with increasingly high energy prices.”
Mr Rzońca added:
“As a result of the panic on the international energy market, prices for electricity and gas continue to rise. It is irresponsible that the majority parliamentary groups are not willing to take countermeasures in the long term. Without gas and nuclear power, the Green Deal will not work. It will become unbearable for broad segments of the population. And we regret that a number of other governments will soon face increasing pressure from the people over this.
“Ironically, our objection was voted and rejected without debate on Tuesday evening, and thus dealt with before the debate on Wednesday morning. We can expect to hear our colleagues now complaining about a misery that they themselves have partly brought about and that was never necessary.”