Austria’s climate minister said on Wednesday that Austria is seeking support from other EU countries in its legal actions against EU rules that qualify investments in nuclear and gas power plants as climate-friendly.
The government, which has also criticized the EU’s plan to label fossil fuel gas as green, has prepared a legal action to challenge EU law adding fuels to the “labeling” system for labeling green investments. “We have many other states that have been very critical of the delegated law, and I have spoken. So we will look for other allies in this legal actionAustrian Climate Minister Leonor Goesler said.
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Luxembourg already supports legal action
Gas and nuclear bases have been the subject of fierce debate for a year, with a deep split among EU governments. The European Parliament last week approved the law, which Brussels says will help the European Union transition to clean energy, but activists say it undermines Europe’s leadership in the fight against climate change. “We will take legal action in the Court of Justice of the European Communities to prevent this greenwashing programmeLeonor Gosler said as she arrived at a meeting of European environment ministers.
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In the legal case brought by Austria, it will argue that none of the fuels deserve the eco-label. When burned for energy, the gas produces emissions that warm the planet and fuel climate change. But it emits less than coal, and some EU member states consider it a temporary solution to replace more polluting fuels. Nuclear energy does not emit carbon dioxide, but it does produce radioactive waste. The lawsuit also seeks to determine whether Brussels has the power to pass the rules through “delegated law,” the type of legislation that EU member states and lawmakers can override, but cannot amend.
MEPs award the “green” label to nuclear energy and gas
Last week, Mered McGuinness, the European Union’s head of financial services, said the law would ensure that private investments in gas and nuclear meet “strict criteria”. The European classification does not prohibit investments in fuels that are not classified as green. Austria can file a complaint within a few months, after the law enters into force.
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