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The EU must give green light to nuclear and gas or face disaster

London, 22 December – Net Zero Watch has warned EU leaders to reject last ditch attempts by campaigners to prevent the EU’s planned green taxonomy for gas and nuclear energy or face a political and economic disaster.

Despite Europe facing its worst energy crisis since the Second World War campaigners are trying to prevent the EU from easing and encouraging the investment in desperately needed new natural gas and nuclear power plants and infrastructure.

Both low-carbon energy sources are included in the EU Commissions’s proposed “taxonomy for sustainable activities” which is reported to be tabled at the end of the year.

In recent days, climate activists including Greta Thunberg have launched campaigns against the European Commission’s new energy priorities which inform its planned green taxonomy.

Germany’s new coalition government is under pressure from green ministers to reject the inclusion of nuclear energy and natural gas in the EU’s new energy classification system.

According to media reports, the European Commission is expected to publish the draft taxonomy on 31 December, allowing for a few days of consultation. The final proposal,  expected to be published in mid-January, could only be blocked by a super-majority of EU member states. This seems highly unlikely in the midst of Europe’s deepening energy crisis.

Dr Benny Peiser, Net Zero Watch director, said: 

“As energy prices are rocketing, Europe is facing its worst energy crisis since the Second World War. Natural gas prices are currently more than ten times more expensive in Europe than in the US where cheap and abundant shale gas is keeping prices low.”

“It is becoming more evident by the day that the EU and the UK have for the last 20 years picked real losers by prioritising and subsidising unreliable renewables over other, physically superior low-carbon energy such as natural gas and nuclear power. 

The EU should now consider radical reforms of energy policies based on dispatchable low-emissions gas and nuclear power plants to deliver a secure and competitive electricity system, as the GWPF has proposed earlier this year.”

Note for journalists

Earlier this year the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) publishing a realistic alternative that reduces CO2 emissions without inflicting astronomical costs on consumers. The proposal envisages a Gas to Gas-Nuclear system, unwinding the extreme costs of the failing renewables fleets, delivering immediate consumer relief and a rapid program of low-carbon Combined Cycle Gas Turbine construction on existing sites, leading to a new generation of nuclear employing Small Modular Reactors.

John Constable & Capell Aris: A workable alternative to Net Zero. A plan for cleaner, reliable and affordable energy (pdf)