Brussels (AP) — European Union leaders on Thursday are trying to protect the energy supply to blocks in 27 countries while accelerating the transition from fossil fuel pollution to sustainable alternative fuels.
The energy debate at the EU summit on Thursday arises in the midst of soaring prices that are still infuriating homes and businesses that are still upset by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The summit will be held 10 days before the United Nations Climate Summit. This summit is widely regarded as the last chance to raise global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“The transition to clean energy is not only essential to our planet. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU legislative bodies Wednesday.
The debate over soaring energy prices is in the context of a cold relationship with Russia, a major gas supplier to Europe.
“This makes us vulnerable,” said Von der Leyen, in a block that imports 90% of its gas, many of which are from its strategic rival Russia. Gas accounts for a quarter of Europe’s total energy consumption.
Gas prices have skyrocketed from around € 19 to € 95 per megawatt hour this year, affecting everything from home heating costs to farmers and food producers. EU executive committees say low-income households are hit hardest because they spend a higher proportion of their income on energy. Many countries are already offering energy tax cuts to relieve pain.
All leaders want to minimize the impact of rising energy prices on their population, but in a different way.
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Oban specifically condemned the Commission’s increase in its green deal plan, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and making it block carbon neutral by 2050. ..
The current crisis has rekindled the debate over whether nuclear projects should be promoted as a way to make the EU less energy-dependent. This can be achieved by making it eligible for billions of euros as part of the European Green Deal and the Coronavirus Recovery Fund.
Two years ago, leaders agreed that nuclear energy could be part of the EU’s efforts to become carbon-neutral. However, they have not yet decided whether nuclear projects can be included in the so-called classification. This is a classification system that seeks to define activities that are subject to sustainable investment.
France recently demanded that nuclear power be included in the classification framework by the end of the year, leading nuclear power generation in nine countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The coder was reported by The Hague, the Netherlands.
Follow all Associated Press on climate change issues at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-change.
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EU leaders are trying to protect their energy supply as prices soar. WGN Radio 720
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