Four EU member states, including Spain, have spoken out ahead of Friday's key deadline against a proposal to label nuclear and natural gas projects as climate-friendly investments under certain circumstances.
The European Commission's plan "puts the energy transition in the European Union and globally at risk... by de facto granting [gas and nuclear] the same treatment as unquestionable green technologies such as wind and solar energy," ministers from Spain, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg wrote.
🔊🇪🇸🇦🇹🇩🇰🇱🇺 defenderán en el Consejo informal @EUCouncil #ENVI en @AmiensMetropole una posición común cuestionando la propuesta de la @EU_Commission de incorporar gas y nuclear en la taxonomía #taxonomy
❌🛢☢️ Gas & nuclear no son #sostenibles♻️
Infórmate⤵️ pic.twitter.com/o9eEmuLz6L— ESPAÑA EN LA UE (@UeEspana) January 20, 2022
The letter to the EU executive branch, published on Twitter by the Spanish late Thursday, came one day before the deadline for member states to give their official feedback to the proposal, which was sent out three weeks ago.
On the Spanish side, the letter is signed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.
The EU has committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, and trillions of euros in public and private investment is needed to make this happen. The EU now wants to offer guidance about which investments count as eco-friendly.
The 27 EU countries have very different energy mixes and visions of how to reach zero emissions - whether it be nuclear, fossil fuel natural gas or sources like wind, solar or tidal.
Almost zero carbon
A German government spokesperson said on Friday Berlin would in its feedback "clearly voice its firm conviction that nuclear energy should not be classified as sustainable."
From the other camp, the Czech government said it would tell the commission it had not gone far enough with its eligibility criteria for nuclear and gas, local media reported.
Nuclear energy is almost zero carbon but produces radioactive waste. Natural gas is a fossil fuel but cleaner than coal and other alternatives, and for some therefore a useful transitional energy source.