Speaking to journalists at dawn, after a European Council held on Wednesday in Brussels, which lasted 14 hours and at the end of which the 27 did not just adopt the issue of energy prices, one of the main issues in On the agenda, Costa indicates that nuclear and carbon taxes were the two matters that prevented a consensus.
“It was not possible to adopt any resolution on the issue of energy, despite all having expressed great concern about the situation of volatility in energy prices, due to a fundamental divergence which proved to be insurmountable, not exactly on the issue of prices , but on two essential topics, “he revealed.
According to the prime minister, “on the one hand, a number of countries insist that nuclear energy should be considered an important energy for the climate transition, and a used majority of countries that refuse to see nuclear energy as a green and safe energy. , and that, therefore, it should be seen as good energy to ensure the climate transition”.
Recalling that the 27th agreement on the objective of carbon neutrality in the EU in 2050 has already been reached, and during the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council in the first half of the year, with the approval of the Climate Law, the head of government pointed out that ” the divergence is no longer on the goal, it is not on the way to reaching that goal.”
“There are countries that understand that they will only be able to achieve this goal with the use of nuclear energy, and they are countries as diverse as Poland or France. There are countries that refuse the nuclear energy solution, countries like Portugal, which have always refused. There are countries that have always refused. in the past, they adopted nuclear energy and took a decision to discontinue it, as is the case in Germany or Spain.
“But I would say that, among the 27 Member States, the vast majority reject nuclear energy as a solution to achieving this objective. There are, however, other countries that understand that this is an acceptable path. Portugal, as you know, has never adopted this way, therefore, it would certainly not be now that I would adopt it”, he added.
António Costa explained that the second point of divergence is due to the fact that “some Member States understand that it is necessary to end the taxes on carbon emissions, which have been a very important instrument to induce bank investments to support the climate transition”.
“And the situation in Portugal is particularly exemplary, taking into account that, in a context of great energy increase, we have a reduction in electricity in the regulated market and a large reduction in the tariff for connection to the grid by the industry, which it is only possible thanks to the fact that we started to invest early in renewable energies, and today we have a very high incorporation in our energy mix of renewable energies”, he argued, it happened that this also contributed to Portugal recording today an information rate low.
At the press conference at the end of the summit that he chaired, the president of the European Council said that the heads of government and state of the EU had not reached an agreement on the responses to be given to the sharp crisis in the energy sector, although they considered this a ” serious matter”.
“At the last Council, we suggested that the Commission promote market studies – and this was done, but [nesta cimeira] we realized that divergent news was on the table and it was not possible to reach an agreement regarding the permits”, revealed Charles Michel, at a press conference after a European summit in Brussels.
At a time of energy crisis, and when electricity and gas prices are at highs and are volatile, the President of the European Council stressed, even so, that this “is a serious matter, it is an important matter, which has an impact on aggregates family members, in their purchasing power, and also in the exclusion of companies”.
For this reason, the Belgian official guaranteed that the matter will be back on the agenda at a future summit.
Soaring electricity prices – due to the rise in the gas market, higher demand and falling corrections – threatens to exacerbate energy poverty in Europe and make it harder to pay heating bills this fall and winter.
The discussion comes after, on Wednesday, the European Commission adopted a set of legislative proposals to “decarbonise the EU’s gas market”, promoting a transition to renewable and low-carbon gases, including hydrogen .
With the proposal, the accessible executive opened the door to the possibility of joint purchases of gas by the countries that so wish, but always on a voluntary basis and limited to emergency cases, in which, for example, an increase in prices such as the current one does not fit. This is where the views of member states diverge.