VDL sparks EU fallout as bloc caves to Macron’s nuclear pressure with huge ‘pivot’

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It is also expected that the EU Commission will label nuclear energy and natural gas a “transition energy” after Germany strongly pushed for its inclusion. The EU taxonomy for sustainable activities is a system of classification that is established to determine which investments are environmentally sustainable.

This system was created in the wake of the European Green Deal in July 2020 and was made to help prevent “greenwashing” among different investments.

It could play an important role in helping the EU increase sustainable investment and implement the European green deal.

During the European Council of 21 and 22 October, the European heads of state and government urged the Commission to decide, by the end of November, on whether to include nuclear and gas in the taxonomy.

Ms Von Der Leyen promised to make a decision by December 16, which once again she failed to deliver.

The deadline has been now been pushed to today and she is expected to submit the plan to a panel of experts, after which the Commission would move to implement the plan by January 16.

The EU is expected to include nuclear energy as a “green investment” and add natural gas as a “transition energy”, set to only receive funding under strict parameters.

Commenting on the news, European affairs analyst Yannis Koutsomitis, said: “Bombshell news for EU’s energy market.

“The Commission is facing the hard reality of the energy crisis and is about to do a majestic pivot on taxonomy by classifying nuclear energy as green.”

One of the biggest reasons for the delay in the taxonomy is the intense debate on gas and nuclear energy led by the EU’s biggest countries, France and Germany.

For a while, the decision on including nuclear to this list has been a contentious one, with a number of European countries vehemently opposing the classification of nuclear as “green”.

France is leading a group of 12 countries that support the inclusion of nuclear energy as a part of a green taxonomy.

On the other side, five EU countries staunchly oppose these possible decisions.

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Austria even went as far as threatening to take the Commission to the EU Court of Justice if they went ahead with the decision.

Meanwhile, Germany, which is heavily reliant on imported gas, particularly from Russia, has been pushing for gas to be considered a green investment as it is often a transition energy source between coal and other renewable energy sources.

At a time where gas prices are soaring and Europeans are exceedingly worried about their over-reliance on Russian gas, this gree taxonomy could play a crucial role in helping the continent get to net-zero by 2050.

The EU’s energy crisis has intensified in the past week after nuclear reactors were halted in France, with Germany recording low wind power output.

The resultant power shortage has prompted countries to burn more coal and even oil to keep the lights on and homes warm, flying in the face of the COP26 commitment to phase out fossil fuels.

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