The European Union has drafted plans to include natural gas and nuclear power in the taxonomy of “green” energy investments in the efforts of helping the continent to minimize its planet-warming emissions.
If approved, the EU’s proposal will likely set off a remarkable resurgence of nuclear energy in the region in the coming decades.
The EU’s proposal was made through the European Commission (EC).
The European Commission and Green Investments
The EC revealed that it had rolled out consultations with key experts from the Union’s member states to shape the proposed regulations. The EC’s draft text is only considered an essential part of the Union’s exercise of labeling some of its energy investments as ‘green’ in contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, promoting environmental objectives, and adapting to climate change.
The move comes only months after the European Green Deal (the EU’s collective efforts to curb the adverse effects associated with climate change) were granted a seal of legal obligations that led to the passage of the Climate Law. This Climate Law obliged all the member states to initiate mandatory emission reductions.
Will More EU Officials Vote For Natural Gas and Nuclear?
Nonetheless, there are doubts whether natural gas and nuclear energy will qualify for the green category in the overreaching legislation adopted in 2021, considering the political wrangling experienced among the member states. Currently, as many as 15 member states have revealed that they will support the inclusion of nuclear energy, describing it as the only way to meet the goals of climate neutrality by 2050. However, Germany and Austria have shown strong opposition to the proposed legislation.
From the global viewpoint, an approval by the European Union will need a thorough review of the implications of the nod on other international agreements that relate to the nuclear energy sector and the mechanisms of disposing of spent fuel.
The proposed law considers natural gas a transition fuel and offers a distinct timeline for its member states to transition to renewables or low-carbon options by 2035. There are tendencies that the nod will raise questions on the latitude to be accorded to other economies and regions as they transit from fossil fuels.
EU Must Prepare For Reality
The consensus among many experts is that jawboning about transitioning away from natural gas and nuclear is nonsensical. As the world relies on more energy to fuel higher standards of living, it will need reliable power. Sure, renewable options are growing but it is still not advanced to the point where it can provide as reliable power as methods such as oil, gas, and nuclear.
Either politicians that are in line with no nuclear or natural gas believe that technology will advance quickly enough to meet its targets within a decade or two or they don’t mind standing by while a portion of their people freeze to death or suffer lower standards of life.