Manfred Weber (CSU), chairman of the 175 MPs EPP and thus the largest group in the European Parliament, supports the proposal of the EU Commission for a taxonomy regulation, according to which nuclear power and natural gas should be viewed as favorable investments. “Anyone who takes a realistic look at energy needs knows that the EU as a whole will not work without the two bridging technologies,” said CSU politician Manfred Weber of the Straubinger Tagblatt / Landshuter Zeitung media group.
The EU has set itself the major goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. Now it is wise to respect that everyone goes their own way to achieve the common goal, Weber said. The group of the Greens in the European Parliament, which with 75 MEPs form the fourth largest of the seven parliamentary groups, replied to Weber on Twitter, “A technology that leaves tons of radioactive waste behind for future generations cannot be a bridging technology. Greenwashing of #Atomkraft under the guise of Climate protection is fatal “.
The EU Commission presented its proposal for the taxonomy regulation on New Year’s Eve 2021. The European Council and the European Parliament can now raise objections to this with a majority.
Shortly after the Commission’s publication wrote the EPP Group in a communicationthat she recognized the role that nuclear power, as a low-carbon technology, could play in the national energy mix, provided that the highest safety standards and decommissioning are adequately ensured.
“Cleanest Fossil Energy Source”
According to the EPP, natural gas is the cleanest fossil energy source, and the gas infrastructure could in future be used to transport green hydrogen, which has enormous potential as an energy source in transport and industry. The European Greens, on the other hand, believe that natural gas has no place in the taxonomy either. They also have one against the project of the EU Commission Online-Petition which has been signed a good 100,000 times so far.
The French MEP Pascal Canfin from the 101 MPs, the third largest group of the liberal Renew Europe, argued in November 2021 that gas could make a positive contribution to the energy transition if it replaced coal in electricity generation. The massive electricity demand due to the transition to electromobility and cleaner industrial processes with green hydrogen makes nuclear power necessary as a backup for the renewables energy sources. However, strict requirements and transparency are necessary so that investors know which technology they are investing in.
Joachim Schuster, economic policy spokesman for the SPD MEPs, who are part of the 145 S&P MEPs, the second largest group in the European Parliament, said recently on Deutschlandfunk, Natural gas is needed as a bridging technology. But it is wrong to include nuclear power in the taxonomy, because given the long construction times and the thousands of years of radioactive waste, it is not a transition technology. “We didn’t eradicate the plague by promoting cholera,” said Schuster.