Monday, June 27, 2022
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Now even Scholz turning on Macron: Germany to vote against flagship EU energy plan


EU members will vote today on a proposal put forward by the European Commission to include nuclear in the green taxonomy. The EU’s taxonomy is intended to hand a green badge to companies – or to withhold it — to “help shift investments where they are most needed”. This is part of the bloc’s aim to direct funding towards energy sources with a low or zero carbon footprint

German officials told Politico that Berlin will vote against the proposal to include nuclear in the taxonomy after a deal was struck between partners in the coalition Government.

This is despite Mr Macron hailing his “convergence of views” with Mr Scholz after their first meeting as leaders in Paris.

But the mo e may still not be enough to block that plan as the proposal still needs a majority in the European Parliament to vote for it.

Mr Macron, the French President, will be hoping to the proposal will go ahead as Paris plans a huge nuclear drive.

He has signalled his support for this proposal in the past, arguing that “nuclear power is one of the solutions to decarbonise our economies”, and has claimed it is a “sovereign solution”.

He told experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) back in December: “Nuclear power is a sovereign solution; that’s why I defend the argument of a nuclear power integrated into the taxonomy”.

The EU’s green taxonomy system was created in the wake of the European Green Deal in July 2020 and was also made to help prevent “greenwashing” among different investments.

But nuclear energy is a contentious issue and is putting EU members at loggerheads.

Mr Macron, who recently secured his second term as French President, partly focused his election campaign on securing his country as a nuclear stronghold.

He pledged to construct up to 14-new generation reactors as well as build up a fleet of mini nuclear reactors.

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Meanwhile, Germany is in the process of shutting down its last remaining nuclear plants.

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

But this has sparked fury among a group of countries which argue nuclear fuel is not a “green” source and is too costly.

The Climate Action Network (CAN) claims: “The extremely expensive and slow deployment – demonstrated by delays recorded on reactor construction sites across Europe – confirms that nuclear power can in no way constitute a “transitional energy” useful for achieving the 2030 climate objective.

“Fossil gas is a proven source of greenhouse gas emissions and its consumption should be reduced by 30 percent by 2030 to reach the European climate target.

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This also comes as Mr Macron has come under fire from world leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

He reportedly asked Ukraine to make concessions on its sovereignty to help Russian President Vladimir Putin save face.

Mr Zelensky told Italian TV channel RAI: “We want the Russian army to leave our land — we aren’t on Russian soil

“We won’t help Putin save face by paying with our territory. That would be unjust.”

He added that Mr Macron was searching “in vain” for “a way out for Russia”.



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