EU feud: Germany hits out at bloc’s nuclear plans and makes dig at ‘very loud’ France

In a joint statement issued by the environment ministers of Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria and Portugal, the signatories warn that including nuclear energy in the taxonomy would permanently damage the latter’s “integrity, credibility and therefore its usefulness”. Speaking at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Thursday, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the EU must avoid labelling nuclear energy as “green”.

The Minister said: “We don’t want nuclear energy, we don’t consider it sustainable, and we don’t want the EU to support it either.”

The German position on this is clear, and “we are not the only ones who see it that way,” Schulze said. According to her, no decision has been made on nuclear, “even if France is currently putting forward its interests very loudly”.

According to Schulze, nuclear power is not a solution in the fight against climate change, because it takes too long to build.

Ms Schulze said: “Building nuclear power plants are far too expensive and take far too long for climate protection.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to boost French nuclear power interests as part of his presidential election campaign.

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  • The European Commission has long faced a dilemma on whether to include nuclear energy within its soon-to-be-published sustainable-finance taxonomy rules, which will clarify what is and isn’t a green investment.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in October that nuclear power could be a stable source of energy during the transition away from reliance on gas.

    Her comments raised expectations that nuclear power might be included in the green finance rules.

    Russian gas supplies have been running low over the last few months seeing several EU nations struggling for energy.

    Threats have now been received that Belarus will cut off gas supplies to Europe over an ongoing security situation concerning migrants on the Poland – Belarus border.

    The EU has stated that sanctions will be placed on the nation should the situation continue.

    Speaking of the crisis and issuing the threat, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko did not hold back on this rhetoric.

    The Belarussian premier said: “We are heating Europe, they are still threatening us that they will close the border. And if we shut off natural gas there?”

    He continued: “Therefore, I would recommend that the Polish leadership, Lithuanians and other headless people think before speaking,” he was cited as saying.

    Europe’s gas market, where prices have hit record highs in recent weeks, would be highly sensitive to any interruption in the flow of Russian gas via Belarus.

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