Should nuclear and natural gas be counted as “green energy”? This is the question that European policymakers are grappling with at the moment, as the EU puts together a set of technical rules known as the “EU taxonomy”, classifying precisely what counts as a “sustainable” investment.
Germany’s environment minister has called the plans “absolutely wrong”. His country is in the process of phasing out the last of its nuclear power plants, though critics argue this has left Germany dependent on polluting coal, as well as natural gas imports from Russia.
As long as [Germany’s] traffic light coalition finally gets serious about climate protection, I’m happy. The plans look better than before, but I have my doubts whether the coal phase-out will really happen by 2030. Germany should definitely implement the Green Deal laws consistently!
We also had a comment from Tadeusz, who argues:
Germany is supporting the EU Green Deal targets and at the same time is making a deal with Russian Gazprom to build another natural gas pipeline (NORD STREAM2). We really need renewables but what we really need the most is European Solidarity!
To get a response for Jessica and Tadeusz, we put their comments to Dr. Franziska Brantner, a Member of the German Bundestag and Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Affairs & Climate Action. We put both questions to her during a Friends of Europe event on “Cutting emissions to drive sustainable growth: Can Germany lead by example in Europe?“
For another perspective, we also put both comments to Dr. Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, to see how she would respond.
You can see the responses in the video at the top of this post.
Does Europe need natural gas and nuclear to transition to green energy? Will Germany phase out coal by 2030? Should Nord Stream 2 be cancelled? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!