As announced by Climate Protection Minister Leonor Gesler (Greens), the lawsuit against the taxonomy regulation was filed with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Friday, shortly before the Monday deadline. The daily newspaper “Courier” gave this information in its online edition on Friday. Luxembourg wants to join the trial.
As part of the classification regulation, the European Union Commission classified gas and nuclear as “sustainable”. Along with the classification, the EU Commission seeks to determine which financial investments will be considered climate-friendly in the future. This will help mobilize the billions needed for climate change and pave the way for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050.
Climate Minister Leonor Gewesler (Greens) criticized the EU Commission’s classification decision as a “greenwashing program for nuclear power and fossil natural gas”. The commission fulfills “above all the wishes of the nuclear lobby”.
In the lawsuit, Austria is relying on a report by international experts that nuclear power is not sustainable. However, lawyers do not evaluate the fact that Austria would be particularly great through this line of reasoning before the ECJ. Austria also considers the regulation presented by the European Union Commission to be legally incorrect. The EU Commission does not have the authority to make such far-reaching political decisions, it is argued. Austria also cites procedural errors. EU states would have had little time to discuss it.
The planned entry into force of the new rules could still be halted if 20 of the 27 EU states, comprising at least 65 percent of the total EU population, voted against them. However, it is unlikely that member states would still oppose it.
Austrian MEPs welcomed the lawsuit. “There is no ‘green’ nuclear power and therefore investment in nuclear power should also not be greenlighted,” emphasized VP MEPs Othmar Karas and Alexander Bernhuber. SPO-EU MPs Evelyn Regner and Günther Siddle explained that the classification decision was “content-wise and legally questionable”.
Environmental organization WWF also welcomed the lawsuit. “Nuclear power is neither sustainable nor futuristic and therefore a completely wrong answer to the climate and biodiversity crisis. Even climate killer natural gas should not find a place in the classification.”
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