Tuesday, January 25, 2022

You can’t categorise nuclear power as ‘green energy’, new German govt warns France

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Germany will continue to oppose French plans to categorise electricity generated by nuclear power as “green energy”, Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said.

Mr Baerbock made the remarks in Paris on Thursday, during her first visit to the French capital since taking office.

“It is well known that we have differing positions on the nuclear issue,’’ she said after meeting French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

A day after being sworn in as part of the new German coalition government, Baerbock emphasised the great significance of German-French relations for the European Union.

She welcomed French plans for a conference on Europe’s future after it takes over the rotating presidency of the EU council at the start of next year.

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A “taxonomy” debate is underway within the bloc on arriving at a common language in order to direct investment towards projects seen as sustainable.

France, along with Poland and the Czech Republic, aims to have nuclear power termed “green”, while Germany, Austria and Luxembourg are against the idea.

France generates most of its electrical energy from nuclear power.

Ahead of a visit to Paris on Friday by Olaf Scholz, the new German chancellor, Baerbock stressed the close partnership between the two largest EU economies, addressing her French colleagues in informal terms and thanking them for a “truly warm and friendly reception’’.

Scholz heads a three-way coalition of his Social Democrats, SPD, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, FDP.

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Baerbock is co-leader of the Greens, a party that has been strongly anti-nuclear since its inception.

dpa/NAN

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