"We are fully in favour of defining clearly what qualifies as sustainable investments in the European Union. But we deeply regret that the European Commission did not involve the European Parliament more before making its proposal. The future of clean energy is a common good that concerns all Europeans. Parliament and Member States must be involved at the same level", said Esther de Lange MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chair in charge of the so-called European Green Deal.
Her statement comes after the European Commission adopted its proposal today to include nuclear energy and fossil gas in the so-called 'Taxonomy Regulation' which sets out criteria that define green investments.
"To reduce Europe's CO2 emissions, we need gas. Not for ever and everywhere, but for a transitional period and in certain situations. By using gas as a bridge technology, we can achieve CO2 reductions faster by moving away from, for example, coal without having to wait for fully carbon-free technologies to be widely available. We would like to recall that flexibility is needed in the way we decarbonise. If, for example, Poland would like to replace a coal plant with several small gas plants, this should be possible if it helps achieve climate neutrality", explained de Lange.
The EPP Group acknowledges the role nuclear energy can play as a low-carbon technology in the national energy mix, provided sufficient provisions are made for the highest safety standards as well as for decommissioning, taking into account cross-border issues.
"The taxonomy rules are very important to direct private money and investments in the right direction for the Green Deal. By clearly defining the list of energy included, we offer much-needed clarity to investors", stressed de Lange.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States