August 14, 2022

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Ein arbeidar på eit gasskraftverk i Vadu i Romania gjer ein rutinesjekk. Kraftverket brukar gasressursar frå Svartehavet. EU

EU considers gas and nuclear energy sustainable investments – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Parliament has approved a proposal by the European Commission to include certain gas and nuclear energy-related events in the EU taxonomy.

This taxonomy shows which industries and businesses the EU considers to be sustainable in terms of climate and environment.

– This means energy companies operating through gas and nuclear power can get loans from banks involved in green investments. This will make it easier for these companies to finance their operations in the future.

That’s what Lars Gulbrandsen, head of research for climate and energy policy at Fridtjof Nansen’s institute, says.

These companies will have an advantage over coal companies, which have higher CO 2 emissions than gas and nuclear power.

A nuclear power plant near Leipzig in Switzerland. Nuclear power is very controversial in some parts of Europe, Gulbransen says.

Photo: ARND WIEGMANN / Reuters

MDG: – Unfortunate signal

The motion passed in Parliament today is to remove gas and nuclear power from the list of sustainable investments.

278 delegates voted in favor of the motion, 328 voted against, and 33 abstained.

Arild Hermstad, deputy leader of the Green Party (MDG), says the party is disappointed that the proposal was voted down.

– This sends an unfortunate signal to the outside world, Hermstad tells NRK, because it will prolong fossil energy in the EU.

Gas-fired power station in Berlin, Germany.

Gas-fired power station in Berlin, Germany. Energy prices in Europe have risen sharply since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Photo: Michael Sohn/AP

He believes that classifying gas as a sustainable investment could prevent the EU from meeting our climate targets.

On the other hand, he doesn’t think it’s a catchphrase for oil and gas companies.

– The good news here is that the EU has set very strict requirements for approving gas-fired power plants in its category. It does not contribute to any major investment in gas on the part of the EU.

– In the long term, says Hermstad, the job is to phase out fossil fuels and bring in renewables.

Arild Hermstadt

MDG co-owner, Arild Hermstad.

Photo: Heidi Fjørtoft Klokk / NRK

Mixed reactions in Denmark

In Denmark, a member of the European Union, many politicians are unhappy with the decision. DR.

Politicians from the Social Democrats, the Socialist People’s Party and the Danish Liberal Party both believe the decision is a defeat for the climate.

On the other hand, Danish Conservatives EU Member of Parliament Bernil Weiss is satisfied with the results. He believes that both natural gas and nuclear power are necessary steps on the path to climate neutrality.

The rules will enter into force in 2023 unless 20 of the 27 member states vote against it.

MEP votes to keep gas and nuclear on list of sustainable investments

Members of the European Parliament are meeting in Strasbourg to vote on whether the EU should include gas and nuclear energy on the list of sustainable investments.

Photo: Jean-Francois Badias / AP

Better reserve power than coal

Gulbrandsen believes gas will remain on the list because it leads to lower emissions than the alternative.

– If you can’t use gas, you have to use coal, which is more polluting and has bigger CO 2 emissions than gas.

Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are not as sustainable energy sources as fossil fuels for natural reasons.

– When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, one is balanced depending on the force of existence, so one has energy.

Until the renewable energy grid is fully developed, one must depend on alternative and more sustainable energy sources.

Gulbrandsen at Fridtjof Nansen’s Institute believes it has to do with the current situation between Europe and Russia.

Aerial photo of a coal-fired power plant in Austria that has reopened two years after it was shut down due to a lack of gas supplies from Russia.

The coal-fired power station in Mellach, Austria, recently reopened after two years of closure due to a lack of gas supplies from Russia.

Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP

If the gas supply from Russia is cut off and there is no incentive to switch to gas more favorably, it will be easier to switch to coal.

Nuclear power is a controversial topic in many European countries.

Although the energy source is climate neutral when it comes to CO emissions, people are skeptical about the safety risk associated with nuclear waste and radioactivity and accidents.

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