The Paks nuclear power plant – Photo: OAH

Fidesz MEPs welcome EP decision to uphold limited qualification of gas, nuclear energy as sustainable

MEPs of Hungary's ruling Fidesz welcomed the European Parliament' decision to uphold the European Commission's amendment to its taxonomy regulation, ensuring that certain uses of natural gas and nuclear energy could be qualified as sustainable, secure and clean energy resources.

A proposal against the EC’s amendment proposal was rejected with 328 MEPs voting against, 278 in favour and with 33 abstentions. Unless the EP or the European Council objects the ruling, the taxonomy regulation will become binding from January 1, 2023.

The regulation states that private investments of the gas and nuclear energy sectors have a role in green transition, and so in curbing climate change. Certain activities of the sector will therefore qualify as sustainable temporarily, if the sector fulfils requirements of transparency, it said.

Commenting on the vote, the Fidesz MEPs said in a statement “we protected the security and affordability of energy supplies, and the [Hungarian] utility price cuts”.

Edina Toth, Eniko Gyori and Andras Gyurk said investments based on gas or nuclear energy were key to green transition, so that safe and affordable energy supplies could be preserved in the long term.

Toth said that without gas or nuclear energy, the EU would be much more vulnerable to “crises like the ones we are experiencing now. Green transition would also become impossible, because sustainable energy resources are not enough to satisfy growing demand and to keeping utility costs affordable.”

Gyori said a green economy needed private capital, and aid for companies to become sustainable and climate neutral. The costs of that process could not be passed on to companies and private citizens, she said. “Had the leftist proposal been implemented, those companies would have never received funding for the transition,” she said.

Gyurk said rejecting the “leftist objection” to the regulation was “the only decision possible”.

“Europe is in an energy crisis, and we have to firmly reject all irresponsible proposals that would exacerbate the situation. With the objection, the left has attacked utility price caps and climate protection. We successfully thwarted that attempt, thanks to the Fidesz MEPs’ determination in their stance,” he said.

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