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German government struggles to unite on EU energy proposal | DW News |

The EU Commission's proposal to classify nuclear power and natural gas plants as "green" investments has sparked debate in Germany's new coalition government. Conflict is also brewing between EU states.

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Natural gas transition

The pro-free market neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP), meanwhile, have pushed back against the criticism from their Green coalition partners.

"You're not a good European if you only accept decisions that suit you," FDP vice-chair Wolfgang Kubicki told German mass-circulation tabloid, Bild.

The coalition, he warned, has to "find a consensus on how we can achieve a balance between the goals of CO2 reduction and a stable energy supply."

FDP leader and Finance Minister Christian Lindner told the national Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that, realistically, Germany "needs modern gas-fired power plants as a transition technology because we're doing away with coal and nuclear power." He suggested modern natural gas plants could later be converted to operate on hydrogen.

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) who are the strongest government party,  has also previously said that natural gas will play an important part in the energy transition and that should be reflected in the EU's green finance taxonomy.

EU fissure

The 27 EU member states now have until January 12 to comment on the Commission's draft. But it's unlikely that the proposal can be blocked. Besides Germany, only Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Portugal have voiced criticism. 
Implementation can only be prevented if at least 20 EU countries (representing at least 65% of the total EU population) or at least 353 members of parliament vote against it.

by Oui on Mon Jan 3rd, 2022 at 11:16:58 PM EST
by Oui on Mon Jan 3rd, 2022 at 11:17:40 PM EST
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