Brussels Unveils Plan For 'Green Gas' And Nuke Plants
The European Commission unveiled on Friday night a draft green label for nuclear and gas power plants, which aims to facilitate the financing of facilities that help combat climate change, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Photo Insert: The draft classifies investments in nuclear or gas-fired power plants for electricity generation as "sustainable", with the aim of directing "green finance" towards activities that contribute to reducing greenhouse gases.
The draft text, which has been under discussion for months and is still provisional, was sent to member states on 31 December, shortly before midnight, according to several sources reached by AFP.
It sets out the criteria for classifying investments in nuclear or gas-fired power plants for electricity generation as "sustainable", with the aim of directing "green finance" towards activities that contribute to reducing greenhouse gases.
France, which wants to revive its nuclear industry - a stable, low-carbon source of electricity - and central European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, which need to replace their highly polluting coal-fired power stations, have been calling for such a text.
Such a classification allows for a reduction in financing costs, which is crucial for the projects concerned and for the states willing to support them.
Environmentalists oppose the recognition of gas-fired power plants (which emit CO2) and nuclear power, because of the production of radioactive waste. And a small group of countries, led by Germany, have fought to exclude the atom.
But both the pro-gas and pro-nuclear groups agree that renewable energies (wind, solar, etc.), already labeled by the Commission, suffer from intermittent production and will not be able to provide low-cost electricity in the coming years and that their production can be controlled.
The Brussels proposal sets conditions for the inclusion of nuclear and gas, including a time limit. For the construction of new nuclear power plants, projects will have to have obtained a building permit before 2045. Work to extend the life of existing plants will have to be authorized before 2040.