Dutch MEPs slam Brussels’ decision to label gas and nuclear as green
Several Dutch MEPs have condemned the European Commission’s decision to include gas and nuclear power on a list of green investments, despite opposition from some member states and the EU’s own experts.
The commission says that gas is a semi-clean source of energy which will help some members states make the transition to wind and solar power, while nuclear is needed to provide a stable supply of energy at times of little wind.
‘The EU is committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and we need to use all the tools at our disposal to get there,’ said financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness.
‘It is not an EU energy policy instrument. Member states remain fully responsible for deciding their own energy mix… It is a signpost for the private investment market on our road towards sustainability.’
Nevertheless, GroenLinks MEP Bas Eickhout described the decision as a ‘historic mistake, which undermines the entire EU climate strategy’. Labour MEP Paul Tang said it was a ‘diabolical’ deal struck between gas and nuclear supporters.
Left-wing parties in the European parliament are now trying to ensure a majority of MEPs vote against the plan when it is put to the vote.
Austria and Luxembourg have already said they will take legal action if the proposal is passed by the European parliament, while the Netherlands urged the commission to drop gas from the list.
The Netherlands, does, however, support the inclusion of nuclear power on the list as a temporary measure. The new Dutch government plans to look into establishing two new nuclear power stations in the Netherlands.
According to Euronews, the commission estimates the EU needs €350bn in green investments every year to meet the 2030 target of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels and much of this will have to come from the private sector.
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