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The energy and environment ministers of the European Union (EU) member states are discussing at the end of this week the soaring energy prices in the bloc and ways to make sure that record-high power and gas prices do not impede the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal.
Energy ministers will continue debates in Amiens, France, which began in the European Council and the Council of Ministers at the end of last year on how to protect EU consumers from extremely volatile and historically high gas and electricity prices, while pursuing the Union’s climate goals, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union said before the meetings.
The energy ministers will also examine the outline for a new hydrogen economy policy, focusing on “how to speed up the development of low-carbon hydrogen, while addressing current uncertainty regarding the technological difficulty of producing it and its place in Europe’s energy mix in the future,” the French Presidency added.
The energy and environment ministers will also jointly consider “the principles of the just transition and a green transition that is socially acceptable. The transition to a carbon-free economy and society involves major transformations that will change how we consume, produce, work, exchange, and coexist. For it to be a success, Europe must ensure it is a socially just and inclusive transition that meets the needs of the most vulnerable people and places in society.”
Moreover, on Friday, experts are expected to criticize the EU in feedback to the European Commission over a proposal to include some nuclear and natural gas projects in the so-called “sustainable finance” category, Reuters reported, citing a document from the advisers it had seen.
Early this year, the European Commission launched expert consultations over whether nuclear power and some natural gas projects can be considered “sustainable” investments, receiving immediate backlash over “green nuclear” from Germany and Austria, which accused the EU’s executive branch of greenwashing.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com