Nuclear power – Austria gives the EU Commission a clear rejection

As expected, Austria rejected the EU Commission’s draft in its statement that gas and nuclear energy should be classified as climate-friendly under certain conditions. Both forms of energy would have enormous environmental risks and would endanger the future of the planet, it is said. Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) announced again that Austria would sue if the EU Commission implemented its plans in this way.

“With its supplementary delegated legal act on taxonomy, the EU Commission has quietly and secretly tried to greenwash nuclear power and fossil natural gas. In doing so, it is complying with the wishes of the nuclear and gas lobby,” Gewessler criticized against APA on Saturday. The 28-page Austrian statement was sent to the EU Commission on Friday evening. The Brussels authority had given the member states until Friday to take a position on the proposal.

The Austrian statement clearly states that nuclear power and fossil gas are not sustainable. “Fossil gas releases huge amounts of CO2, causing enormous damage to our climate. Nuclear power is dangerous, as Chernobyl and Fukushima have clearly shown us, and it has still not solved its huge environmental problems.”

Gewessler also criticized the approach of the EU Commission, which disregarded its own guidelines with the legal act. The letter was published on New Year’s Eve shortly before midnight – “without public consultation and with an extremely short comment period. That is also extremely questionable in terms of democratic politics.”

Germany also took a clear stance against the EU Commission classifying nuclear power as a sustainable investment, although there has recently been no clear position on the classification of gas. German Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck and Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (both Green) said on Saturday that the EU Commission had requested adjustments in the gas sector.

In addition to Austria, Spain and Denmark are clearly against the proposal. France, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania support it. The EU Commission is assuming a large majority for its proposal. The EU Commission representative in Austria, Martin Selmayr, does not give Gewessler’s lawsuit a chance either. Selmayr said this week that a fate similar to that of the Austrian lawsuit against public subsidies for the British Hinkley Point nuclear power plant will befall her. (apa)

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