Four EU members, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark, want to make a last attempt to prevent the inclusion of natural gas in the EU taxonomy.
In a letter to Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, the four countries’ energy ministers wrote: “The lack of scientific evidence for including fossil gas in the Taxonomy should lead to a reconsideration of the proposal by the European Commission,” adding, “We call upon the European Commission to not include any fossil gas activities as sustainable in the current Taxonomy, as long as these activities are not subject to the same standards as other energy technologies.”
Some member states will probably not be happy about this, because Germany or the Czech Republic, for example, are relying on natural gas for the energy transition. The current energy crisis in Europe has also shown that unreliable energy sources such as wind or solar could probably not be the only solutions.
Therefore, in some EU countries, such as France, nuclear power is very popular, because it produces cheap and carbon-free electricity. The EU Commission plans to include nuclear power in the EU taxonomy. Despite the fact that nuclear power does not produce CO2, critics do not consider nuclear power to be clean. The reason for this is the disposal of nuclear waste.
With the goal of being climate neutral by 2050, the EU Commission is likely to press ahead with its plans despite the objections. This will mean that a number of gas and nuclear power projects will run under the taxonomy, given that they are approved by 2030 and 2045 respectively. Countries that currently produce electricity mainly with coal should be helped by this.