Sunday

23rd Jan 2022

Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules

Environmental lawyers are threatening to take legal action against the European Commission if gas is included in the EU guidelines for sustainable finances. But the draft taxonomy has also triggered discontent among some EU national capitals and MEPs.

News in Brief

  1. 'No embargo' on meetings with Putin, EU says
  2. Austria to fine unvaccinated people €3,600
  3. MEP: Airlines should start paying for CO2 sooner
  4. Twitter forced to disclose what it does to tackle hate speech
  5. EU watchdog calls for ban on political microtargeting
  6. MEPs adopt position on Digital Service Act
  7. Blinken delivers stark warning to Russia in Berlin
  8. Hungary's Orbán to discuss nuclear project with Putin

Analysis

Hydrogen - the 'no-lose bet' for fossil-fuel industry?

The EU plans to label natural gas as 'green' in sustainable investment rules. From 2026 it will have to be blended with low-carbon gases like green hydrogen - but many scientists warn this is inefficient, costly and damaging to health.

Opinion

Is there a fatal flaw in EU's emissions trading scheme?

New research has discovered fundamental flaws in a key component of the European Union's flagship Emissions Trading System. The little-known 'Market Stability Reserve' fixes a problem of the past but amplifies future shocks and undermines market stability.

EU gas and nuclear rules derided as 'biggest greenwash ever'

Experts and activists have warned the European Commission that including natural gas and nuclear power in its plan for sustainable finance will lead to further greenwashing, split financial markets and undermine the bloc's climate objectives.

EU agency warns ETS emission-cuts are off track

The European Environment Agency warned current projections indicate emissions-reductions in member states covered by the EU's cap-and-trade carbon market are insufficient to meet the bloc's new climate targets for 2030 and 2050.

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Feature

EUobserver's Top 10 stories of 2021

From the Mediterranean to Minsk, from Covid to climate change, EUobserver has proudly broken original stories on the EU institutions in 2021 - under our ethos of 'Independent. Investigative. Influential.'

Analysis

Are nuclear and gas green? Depends if you ask EU or experts

The taxonomy for sustainable activities was meant to be a purely science-based classification system - but it has become bogged down by political infighting (not least between Paris and Berlin), threatening its credibility.

Latest News

  1. Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules
  2. MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter
  3. EU orders Poland to pay €70m in fines
  4. Dutch mayors protest strict lockdown measures
  5. Macron promises strong EU borders
  6. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  7. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  8. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

Stakeholder

Podcasts: Nordic voices on the green transition

How close are we to battery-powered planes? What effect has Greta Thunberg had on the attitudes of her fellow Swedes? Is small-scale farming the future? These are some of the questions up for discussion in a new podcast series.

EU updates rules to pump more state aid into green projects

The European Commission unveiled new guidelines to incentivise public investment in green climate and energy projects, ending subsidies for the most-polluting fossil fuels. But natural gas projects will still be eligible for public funds under certain conditions.

Poland threatens to veto EU's Fit for 55

Poland's climate minister threatened to veto the bloc's landmark climate policy Fit for 55, with Portugal accusing others of lies over consumer energy prices.

Activists slam tweak to EU carbon allowance scheme

Ahead of EU environment ministers' meeting, environmental groups sent a joint letter urging ministers to "uphold the 'polluter-pays' principle, as enshrined in EU law when reforming the Emissions Trading System."

EU pushes electric car charging-point rollout

The European Commission announced that some new and renovated buildings in the EU will need to be equipped with charging points for electric cars - as part of new efforts aimed at reducing the sector's emissions.

Opinion

Gas and nuclear: a lose-lose scenario for Eastern Europe

The strong advocacy of Central and Eastern European capitals for including fossil gas and nuclear power in the EU's green taxonomy only leads to another unsustainable energy lock-in for the region, leaving their grid exposed to third-country coercion.

What's in the EU's second 'Fit for 55' package?

The European Commission is expected to unveil the second part of the 'Fit for 55' package – including proposals for joint gas-purchases, improving buildings' energy performance, boosting green mobility, and mitigating the impact of the transition on poor households.

Germany tells France: 'nuclear is not green'

The new German government will not support French plans to label nuclear energy as 'green', foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said in Paris on Thursday.

Opinion

Where Germany's Greens and FDP will collide on environment

The Greens and the FDP disagree on major political issues. While they both support the climate battle, their ways of ushering change are vastly different: the Greens advocate tougher environmental laws and regulations, and the FDP calls for market-based solutions.

Opinion

'Agriculture as sovereignty' under the French EU presidency

One of the challenges for the French EU presidency is to convince its European counterparts that Paris's demand for harmonised standards covering agricultural imports is inseparable from the EU's flagship Green Deal, and the core concept of European sovereignty.