Barrage by MEPs on nuclear and gas

Elected representatives of the two committees rejected on Tuesday the text of the Taxonomy Commission defining green investment.

Correspondent in Brussels

Mass has not yet been celebrated. But this is a new insult for Ursula von der Leyen. MEPs from the committees on the economy and the environment on Tuesday objected to the text of the taxonomy, according to which it is planned to include gas and nuclear energy in this classification of so-called sustainable energy sources. And will allow, if adopted, these two types of energy to receive more private and public funding, in particular, EU funding provided for under the European recovery plan. In the text they are indeed classified in “transition energy“, most likely “promote the transition to renewable energy sourcesand climate neutrality.

Macron in the viewfinder

However, the results of Tuesday’s vote are close, with 76 MEPs voting in favor of the objection, 62 against and 4 abstaining. Details were not reported. Ecologists, part of the 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 jeopardizing the largest plant cleanup operation to date. It is time for liberals and Emmanuel Macron to understand that we cannot play with the environment along the way. It’s a climate emergency.” cheered environmentalist Marie Toussaint, a member of the European Parliament, referring to the rejection of the reform of free emission quotas. Climate protection NGOs have not been left out. “After the expulsion of Russian lobbies from the walls of the European Parliament after the publication of the latest Greenpeace France report, (voting, ed.) means a new defeat for the lobbyists of the Russian gas and nuclear industries, as well as Emmanuel Macron, who was one of the initiators of lobbying for the inclusion of fossil gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy in spite of the climate emergency and the energy transition“, the association reacted, calling for a trial in early July in Strasbourg during a plenary vote..

The text of the taxonomy, which is a “delegated act”, cannot be changed. It is either accepted as a single bloc or rejected as a single bloc. “If the delegated act is rejected by one of the co-legislators (European Parliament or Council, editor’s note), it is rejected and expires‚ÄúCommission spokesman Eric Mamer explained on Tuesday. Paris, which plans to build mini-nuclear power plants, has fought to turn on nuclear power. Poland, which is very dependent on gas to get rid of coal, is also looking to invest in nuclear. Conversely, several Member States have already indicated that they will take legal action against Brussels if the text is adopted, notably Luxembourg and Austria. As for Germany, it has made it clear that it will vote against the text but will not seek European justice.

On Tuesday, macronist Pascale Canfin, chairman of the Strasbourg Parliament’s Environment Committee, voted against an objection to the Commission’s text. On Tuesday, those close to him argued that it was quite possible that the text would pass at the plenary session in early July. “There are few representatives of Eastern European countries in the committees on economy and environment.“, we stressed.