The European Commission’s proposal to include some gas and nuclear energy among green investments has provoked sharp criticism among some countries, especially Austria and Germany, which have long opposed nuclear energy.
According to Czech MEP Alexander Vondra of the Civic Democrats (ODS), this is their ideological and political stance, which is not necessarily shared by all European Union countries.
If the proposal were to become a reality and nuclear is classified as a clean energy source, further completion of nuclear power plants could have a better starting position in terms of financing and obtaining loans. However, some countries strongly oppose the plan.
“If the plans are implemented in this form, we will file a lawsuit,” warned Austrian Climate and Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler of the Green Party. The Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer echoed her sentiments, affirming that in his view, nuclear is not a sustainable form of energy production.
Austria wants to coordinate further steps with Germany and Spain, which also reject nuclear. However, for the Czech Republic and France, for example, approving the proposal is essential for building more nuclear units. As Czech MEP Alexander Vondra suggests, it might not always be necessary for Europe to follow Germany’s preferred path.
“If their opinion should prevail, we have no choice but to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. We just cannot do without nuclear power,” said the Czech MEP.
According to Vondra, in addition to ideology, the long-term political position of Austria together with Germany is to blame and he reiterated that what might work for Germany is often to the detriment of other EU member states.
“This is not German Europe. They always said they wanted a European Germany. Now they want German Europe,” Vondra claimed.
“They should be aware of all the consequences that this can have. If the European Union is to survive, Germany does not always have to get its way,” he added.
Additionally, the Czech MEP also warned against premature enthusiasm of the Commission’s proposal, claiming it may still contain unfavorable conditions for the Czech Republic.
The states of the European Union are to review the proposal by Jan. 12.