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EU confirms nuclear energy “eco-friendly” for the sake of its welfare

7 July 2022 17:00 (UTC+04:00)
EU confirms nuclear energy “eco-friendly” for the sake of its welfare

By Muhammed Vefa Yurekli

Facing an energy crisis amid the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, the EU has forgotten both the Paris Climate Agreement and the Green Deal, Yeni Shafak reports.

The European Parliament, with the votes of 328 deputies on July 7, decided that nuclear power plants are climate and eco-friendly. The EU, which has consistently pressed numerous nations, including Turkiye, to abandon nuclear power facilities, will now build new nuclear power plants swiftly.

European nations, who once relied on Russia for more than 40 percent of their natural gas needs, are unable to find alternative energy sources, so they devised a strategy to stretch the Green Deal for the sake of the union’s interests.

The European governments, which have pledged to combat climate change and suppress developing countries under the Paris Climate Accord and the Green Deal, have made a paradoxical decision and included gas and nuclear energy in the purview of green energy. The decision removes the final significant impediment to the possible investment of billions of euros in the sector.

Two European Parliamentary (EP) committees opposed the legislation that categorizes energy investments based on whether they are damaging to the environment or not, refusing to designate gas and nuclear as ecologically benign. The complaint was defeated in Strasbourg by a vote of 278 to 328, with 33 deputies abstaining. The absolute majority of 353 required to veto the measure was not obtained. If the European Parliament and member states do not protest the plan by July 11, the legislation will go into effect next year.

After the vote, European Parliament rapporteur Bas Eickhout branded the outcome a "black day for the climate and energy transition". Austria, on the other hand, said that it will challenge the judgment, which it deemed illegitimate.

"Especially with the ongoing war in Ukraine, we cannot have a 'greenwash' program for nuclear energy and fossil gas investments. Nuclear energy and natural gas do not contribute to climate protection,” Leonore Gewessler Austrian Climate Minister said.

Of the 27 EU member states, 13 (France, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) use nuclear power plants to generate electricity.

There are overall 106 operational nuclear reactors in the EU. Nuclear energy accounts for around 25 percent of total power generation in the EU nations. The EU member states with nuclear power plants, led by France, dismiss scientific evidence and studies, claiming that the facilities do not violate the Green Deal.

In November 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the country will invest 30 billion euros in the construction of six nuclear power facilities by 2030. On the other hand, the EU and environmental groups that it backs in confrontation with several other nations, notably China, India, and Turkiye hinder their every step toward industrialization and investment in the nuclear sphere.

The EP, in a report that urged suspending discussions with Turkiye, asked that the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project be abandoned under the guise of security concerns, and the recommendation was approved by 477 votes to 64.

Many groups, particularly Greenpeace, staged a slew of events to stop Turkiye's nuclear activities. It was once again demonstrated how self-centered the West, which praises the environment at every chance, can become for its own benefit.

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