Net Zero: EU proposes classifying gas and nuclear power as green

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

The European Union has plans to label some gas and nuclear power as green, a proposal that several members states have criticized. The plans argue that both gas and nuclear are important in the transition to cleaner power.

“It is necessary to recognize that the fossil-gas and nuclear-energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonization of the Union’s economy,” the proposal reads.

Under the plan, gas and nuclear power plants would need to maintain high environmental standards to be considered green. Nuclear plants would also have to implement strict waste-disposal plans.

But many environmental activists claim the EU tried to bury the proposal by releasing its green-investment guidebook on New Year’s Eve.

“The European Commission couldn’t have tried harder to bury this proposal,” said Harry Eviston, a World Wildlife Federation spokesperson.

The proposal will become law in 2023, should a majority of EU members support it. BBC News has details.


Over the holidays, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is ready to start exports, which should calm gas prices across Europe.

“This, for sure, will have an immediate impact on price on the market, on the spot. And all the countries, the consumers in those countries that consume the Russian gas, of course, will feel it themselves,” Putin said. Reuters has that story.

Still in Europe, Germany has shut down three of its six nuclear power plants that are still in operation. The remaining plants in Emsland, Isar, and Neckarwestheim will be powered down by the end of the year. The Associated Press has more.

The Danish government says it will stop using fossil fuels for domestic flights by 2030. The Swedish government made the same announcement earlier this year. BBC News also has that story.

Meanwhile, at least 38 people died after a Sudanese gold mine collapsed last week. Al Jazeera has the details.

On Tuesday morning at 10:43 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$77.27 and Brent Crude was going for US$80.23.

In Canada

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage says she’s received both an engagement report and a final report from the province’s independent coal-policy committee on the future of coal mining in the Rocky Mountain foothills.

Savage says her government will take time to analyze the reports’ findings before releasing them to the public. The Canadian Press has the full story.

Still in Alberta, Calgary’s TransAlta has finished transitioning from coal to natural gas, nine years ahead of a government deadline. The company said the conversion maintains current power generation, while reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by almost 50 per cent. More on that from the Canadian Press.

The Qulliq Energy Corporation says its new power plant in Arctic Bay, Nunavut, is up and running. Nunatsiaq News has the details.

Finally, Centerra Gold, a mining company based in Toronto, has stated its terms to settle a dispute with the Kyrgyz Republic, after the country seized the company’s Kumtor mine last year, citing environmental and safety concerns. The Canadian Press also has that story.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$61.58 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$60.08 this morning at 10:43 a.m.


This post was copy-edited after publication.

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