If it is the European Parliament, it is no longer just a climate change, not a climate crisis, but a climate emergency. At least that's what the majority of deputies decided on Thursday. However, the resolution was not enough for the Greens. They criticized the fact that Parliament did not engage in "concrete steps and immediate action".
The most notable was the course of another vote, which actually covered concrete steps in the area of climate protection: the European Parliament resolution on the United Nations climate change conference in Madrid, which will begin next week. The far-reaching resolution was approved by a large majority and Christians, social democrats and liberals voted almost in favor. On the contrary, most have been calculated: the Greens.
What the European Parliament calls for in the Madrid Climate Change Conference, unlike the climate change debate, is not just symbolic. Parliament must approve international agreements so that they can come into force, and it also speaks with laws for their implementation.
The resolution also has a central point: Parliament is now officially asking for EU greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This is not just a massive increase in the objective of previously valid reduction of 40 percent. Parliament thus assumes the position with which the Greens moved to the European elections in the summer.
Fraction of greens divided into the upper part of the hamlet
However, 46 Greens voted against and only 15 voted in favor, two abstained. The crack even reached the top of the group: the German Ska Keller was against the resolution, against its Belgian faction leader Philippe Lamberts.
According to group sources, the reason was not that the 55 percent reduction target was too low – since last week, the Greens are asking for less than 65 percent. No, it was something else: nuclear energy.
In the course of the negotiations, a change came about in the text of the resolution, which states that nuclear energy could "contribute to the achievement of climate protection goals". Finally, it does not emit greenhouse gases and could contribute "a significant part of the electricity production of the EU". The resolution also calls for a "medium and long term strategy" to tackle the problem of radiant waste. But the nuclear energy that had to be declared respectful of the environment was evidently too much for most green MEPs.
Political competition has readily taken advantage of the steep model. Daniel Caspary, head of the CDU / CSU group in the European Parliament, described the voting behavior of the Greens as "incomprehensible". The leader of the Keller group had supported the resolution along with Christian Democrats. "All other German Greens call the climate emergency and then reject the implementation," said Caspary. So the Greens are "completely unbelievable". Keller criticizes the Christian Democrats, for their part, to be "sitting in a glass house" because they had rejected concrete measures to protect the climate in "emergency" resolution.
New EU funds for new research on nuclear energy?
For the Greens, however, the question of nuclear energy is likely to become a perennial dilemma, the potential gap of which is growing with the importance of the climate debate. On the one hand, there are those who are critical of nuclear energy, but consider immediate climate protection more important than the immediate end of all nuclear power plants. On the other hand, there are those who consider nuclear as themselves devils or are afraid of the parts of their electoral base that think so.
The nuclear issue has been leading the environmental movement for a long time. In 2007, for example, his pioneering thinker James Lovelock called for an end to the "green love story" and a massive expansion of nuclear energy to protect the climate. Likewise, prominent climate scientists comment. The American climatologist James Hansen described in the interview to Der Spiegel the gradual withdrawal of nuclear power as a "big mistake for the world" and accused environmental organizations of resisting for some irrational reasons to their anti-nuclear attitude. Other researchers reject nuclear energy as a climatic solution: too dirty, too dangerous, too slow to expand.
At the same time, however, the debate is about a lot of money. If nuclear energy is considered climate-friendly, it could allow operators to access billions from UN climate funds. Something similar is happening at the EU level. According to Good king News, the research ministers of EU Member States want to discuss a decision in Brussels on Wednesday, where nuclear research is described as "a possible contribution to the transition to a climate-neutral energy system" – and not just to finance millions of EU, but by 2022 could also get energy loans from the European Investment Bank.