Gas and nuclear in EU green taxonomy, Greenpeace against Brussels

EU Green taxonomy published by the Commission last year

(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Gas and nuclear energy must remain outside the EU’s green taxonomy because they do not help either the transition or the fight against the climate crisis. Greenpeace takes the case to the European Court of Justice, asking the highest EU court to resolve the knots of one of the most controversial (and influential) measures taken by the Commission von der Leyen.

The list of sustainable investments

The EU’s green taxonomy is an investment compass: it contains a list of energy sources that can be considered sustainable and to which criteria they are. The inclusion of gas and nuclear energy in this measure therefore paves the way for those who want to invest in these fields, because they will be able to count on public money.

In addition to the economic scope, therefore, there is an enormous political and strategic value: it is with this measure that much of the trajectory of the continent’s energy transition is imposed. And not only that, since taxonomy aspires to become a benchmark globally.

Greenpeace’s arguments against EU green taxonomy

According to the environmental NGO, gas should remain outside the EU’s green taxonomy because it does not contribute to mitigating climate change. The emission limit of the facilities eligible for support, 270 gCO2e/kWh, is almost three times that considered really clean by the Platform for Sustainable Finance, a consulting body composed of experts of various extraction. And the average duration of the plants, 35 years, exceeds the official horizon to complete the transition (2050).

As for nuclear, in addition to having a long time (in the EU from 10 to 19 years) to enter into operation, according to Greenpeace would hinder the development of renewables in several ways. For example, by reserving a certain capacity in the electricity grid in order to guarantee investments in the atom. It would also be wrong to think that nuclear power can provide the basic load needed to support the variability of renewables.

Read also Independent taxonomy regulation lands in Brussels, against greenwashing

Nuclear energy is not flexible enough to coexist with renewable sources. Due to the inability to quickly regulate the production of nuclear power plants to meet changing demands for electricity, the nuclear baseload leads to the reduction of renewable energy production to keep the system in balance, for example on sunny or windy days,writes Greenpeace. “Moreover, because of the exceptionally long time required for investment in nuclear energy to become profitable, nuclear energy has a chain-linking effect to a technology that has negative long-term environmental impacts“.

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