12 Jan 2022, 13:16
Benjamin Wehrmann

Greens in German-French border state want to overcome nuclear row and focus on cooperation

dpa / Die Zeit

Amid the debate between France and Germany over the use of nuclear power in the EU’s emissions reduction plans, the Green Party in southwestern German state Baden-Württemberg want to focus on energy collaboration with their French neighbours, rather than on divisive issues, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Die Zeit. Even though the Greens under their state premier Winfried Kretschmann are opposed to the plans to include nuclear power in the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments - a position advocated by France - the parliamentary faction agreed on seeking intensified cooperation with their neighbours on expanding renewable energy generation in the border region. Parliamentary faction leader Andreas Schwarz said Germany’s Green foreign minister Annalena Baerbock would endorse the plans “at the highest diplomatic level”. Cross-border energy relations in the region had for decades been dominated by a quarrel over the risk-prone nuclear power plant Fessenheim, France’s oldest plant at the time and which has been taken offline in 2020. The Fessenheim region could now become a focus of intensified energy transition cooperation, the Greens said in a position paper. Other areas of cooperation could be hydrogen production in the Upper Rhine region or the use of waste heat. “Global heating cannot be stopped by one country alone. Together with our neighbour countries we want to become a role-model for Europe’s energy transition,” the state’s Green Party said.

The European Commission has proposed including investments in nuclear power as well as in certain natural gas projects in the taxonomy. The inclusion of nuclear has been advocated by France. German environment minister, Steffi Lemke from the Green Party, has said she will work towards a clear rejection by Germany of the inclusion of nuclear power in the taxonomy.

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