Shelling by MEPs over nuclear and gas energy

On Tuesday, members of the two committees rejected the text of the Taxonomy Commission, which identifies “green” investments.

Correspondent in Brussels

The Mass has not yet been served. But for Ursula von der Leyen, this is a new insult. On Tuesday, members of the European Commission for Economic Affairs and the Environment voiced objections to the text of a taxonomy that plans to include gas and nuclear energy in this classification of so-called sustainable energy. And will allow, if adopted, these two types of energy to benefit from greater private and public funding, including the EU, as part of the European Recovery Plan. In the text, they are really classified in “transition energy“, probably “promote the transition to renewable energy sourcesand climate neutrality.

Macron in the viewfinder

However, the results of Tuesday’s vote are close: 76 MEPs voted in favor, 62 against and 4 abstained. No details were reported. Environmentalists, some Social Democrats and the EPP have long opposed the inclusion of gas and nuclear energy. “Last week, we abandoned obscene climate ambitions for the industrial sector. This week, we are threatening the largest green clearing operation to date. It is time for liberals and Emmanuel Macron to understand that we cannot accidentally play with the environment. The climatic situation here is extraordinary. ” Marie Toussaint, an environmentalist and MEP, rejoiced, referring to the refusal to reform free emission quotas. Climate protection NGOs are not left out. “Following the expulsion of Russian lobbies from the European Parliament following the publication of Greenpeace France’s latest report, (vote, editor’s note) signs a new defeat for lobbyists in the Russian gas and nuclear industries, as well as for Emmanuel Macron, who was one of the leaders in lobbying for the inclusion of fossil gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy, despite the climate emergency and energy transition“, The association responded, calling for a test in early July in Strasbourg during the plenary vote..

The text of the taxonomy, which is a “delegated act”, cannot be changed. It is either accepted one by one or rejected. “If the delegated act is rejected by one of the co-legislators (European Parliament or Council, ed.), it is rejected and expires“Commission spokesman Eric Mamer explained on Tuesday. Paris, which plans to build mini-nuclear power plants, has fought for the inclusion of nuclear energy. Poland, which is very dependent on gas to get from coal, and also seeks to invest in nuclear. On the contrary, several Member States have already indicated that they will go to court with Brussels if the text is adopted, including Luxembourg and Austria. As for Germany, it has made it clear that it will vote against the text, but will not achieve European justice.

On Tuesday, Macronist Pascal Canfin, chairman of the Strasbourg Parliament’s Environment Committee, voted against the Commission’s text. His entourage said on Tuesday that it was possible that the text would take place in plenary in early July. “There are few representatives of Eastern European countries on the economic and environmental committees“, – we emphasized.