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‘Green’ label for nuclear & gas ‘absolutely wrong,’ German minister says

Proposals by the European Commission to label some natural gas and nuclear energy projects as ‘green’ have been heavily criticized in Germany. The country’s environment minister called them “absolutely wrong.”

The draft regulation, which may be officially proposed later this month, suggests labeling natural gas as ‘transitional energy’ if it produces emissions below a certain level, while nuclear energy investments could be recognized as sustainable if toxic waste can be properly disposed of.

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I think it is absolutely wrong that the European Commission intends to include nuclear power in the EU taxonomy for sustainable economic activities,” the Green Party’s Steffi Lemke told Funke media group newspapers.

She said a form of energy that can potentially lead to “devastating environmental disasters” and produce huge amounts of radioactive waste “cannot be sustainable.”

The vice-chancellor and minister for economic affairs and climate action, Robert Habeck, also from the Greens, called Brussels’ idea “greenwashing” and “more than dubious.

We can’t foresee an approval for the new proposals from the EU Commission,” he told DPA news agency. 

While Germany has been increasingly reluctant to support any atomic energy projects and even closed three of its nuclear plants on Friday, other European countries, such as France, are more reliant on nuclear power.The proposed labeling scheme, if approved, will cover industries that generate about 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. To come into force, the draft regulation must be supported by a majority of the bloc’s states, as well as the European Parliament.

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