Germany’s new government criticised the European Commission’s proposal to categorize natural gas and nuclear power as green investments. The draft rules set out new criteria to class investments as sustainable or climate-friendly, due to be published later this month.
German Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, Robert Habeck, from the Green Party says that Germany can not support the proposal in its current form. He believes that defining nuclear power as sustainable devalues the term “sustainability” and this could be called greenwashing.
Natural gas generation emits only half as much CO2 as coal, but produces methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas.
The long-running disagreement about which forms of energy are green has resulted in no EU legislation on nuclear power. Each country decides which energy sources it uses. Germany, Austria and Luxembourg are opposed to nuclear energy.
Other EU countries such as the Czech Republic, Finland and France get most of their energy from nuclear power and regard this as essential to achieving EU climate goals.
Individual EU countries and experts must now closely study the proposal from the EU Commission before publication later this month. If a majority of EU countries or a majority in the European Parliament are against it, they can veto it.