Environmentalists have taken the EU’s energy and climate decision well. Friends of the Earth organised an upbeat demonstration in Brussels.
Greenpeace called the EU move the most important since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol.
At the Worldwide Fund for Nature offices, they popped open the champagne, ignoring the bubbles.
The head of WWF’s European climate and energy unit in Belgium, Stephan Singer, explained part of the reason for celebration: “The attempt was this time to make nuclear energy part of a Europe-wide energy mix to put it in connection with the European world climate target. This did not succeed. So nuclear energy is not part of a so-called ‘green power’ target.”
Looking ahead to the next stages, the green campaigners made plain they would keep up pressure to see that the measures are translated into clear laws, as has been promised.
The European Parliament’s Green group vice-president Claude Turmes: “We need a strong European directive like the existing electricity directive, and that will be the fight of the next months. The European Parliament is very much in favour of keeping a strong European approach, whereas some governments want a national approach, and that could be a possibility to escape from their responsibilities.”
Highlighting a positive example, Turmes cited Denmark’s success in exporting some 20 gigawatts of energy from renewable sources over five years, which he said produced a turnover that was ten times that of French nuclear company Areva’s reactor exports.