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Posted by Worldkrap on

Biden, Ukraine Leader Holding Call Amid Tensions Over Russian Troop Buildup

U.S. President Joe Biden was planning to talk Sunday with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to discuss ways to defuse tensions over Russia’s massive troop buildup along Ukraine’s eastern flank.

Biden has made little progress with Russian President Vladimir Putin to get him to withdraw about 100,000 troops stationed along Russia’s border with the former Soviet republic, although U.S. officials do not believe Putin has decided whether to invade Ukraine.

The U.S. and Russian leaders held a 50-minute phone call last Thursday, with Biden again warning Putin that the United States and its Western allies would impose significant economic sanctions against Moscow were Putin to carry out a Ukraine invasion, although Biden has ruled out a military response.

Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, with the West protesting and imposing weaker sanctions.

The Kremlin in turn said last week that Putin told Biden in their call that new, tougher sanctions could lead to a complete rupture In Washington-Moscow relations.

The U.S. has been dispatching small arms and ammunition to Kyiv, along with Javelin missiles it says should only be used in defense.

The White House says that Russian and American officials will participate in three separate rounds of talks this month: first through bilateral talks scheduled to start January 10, and then through multiparty talks with the NATO-Russia Council, and with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“President Biden reiterated (in his call with Putin) that substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.  

In the talks ahead, Russia is demanding that NATO, the seven-decade-old military alliance formed after World War II, deny membership to Ukraine and reduce its deployments in central and eastern Europe. White House officials have declined to discuss details of private talks. 

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

Posted by Ukrap on

В США відзначать 100-річчя першого виконання «Щедрика» в Нью-Йорку – Маркарова

«Хор, який виконував у США «Щедрик», поїхав саме з місією культурної дипломатії – через пісні доносити інформацію про молоду українську державу, яка здобула свою незалежність у 1918 році»

Posted by Ukrap on

Путін та Ердоган хочуть зміцнити партнерство Росії та Туреччини

Туреччина має добрі стосунки як з Києвом, так і з Москвою, але вона критикувала захоплення Москвою Криму та висловлювала підтримку територіальній цілісності України

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Climate Change, New Construction Mean More Ruinous Fires

The winter grassland fire that blew up along Colorado’s Front Range was rare, experts say, but similar events will be more common in the coming years as climate change warms the planet — sucking the moisture out of plants — suburbs grow in fire-prone areas and people continue to spark destructive blazes.

“These fires are different from most of the fires we’ve been seeing across the West, in the sense that they’re grass fires and they’re occurring in the winter,” said Jonathan Overpeck, a professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. “Ultimately, things are going to continue to get worse unless we stop climate change.”

Flames swept over drought-stricken grassy fields and neighborhoods northwest of Denver on Thursday with alarming speed, propelled by guests up to 105 mph (169 kph). Tens of thousands were ordered to flee with little notice.

“I came out of Whole Foods, which is about a half mile from ground zero, and felt like I had to jump in my car and make a dash for my life as the smoke and wind and nearby flames were engulfing the area,” Susie Pringle of Lafayette said in an email. “It was scary!”

Three people were missing as of Saturday and at least seven were injured but no deaths were reported. Officials estimated nearly 1,000 homes and other buildings were destroyed.

Many whose homes were spared remained without power while temperatures dropped to the single digits. The blaze burned at least 9.4 square miles (24 square kilometers).

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but experts say it’s clear what allowed it to spread so fast.

“With any snow on the ground, this absolutely would not have happened in the way that it did,” said Keith Musselman, a snow hydrologist in Boulder. “It was really the grass and the dry landscape that allowed this fire to jump long distances in a short period of time.”

Three ingredients were needed to start this fire: fuels, a warm climate and an ignition source, said Jennifer Balch, a fire scientist with the University of Colorado, Boulder. “And then you add a fourth ingredient, wind, and that’s when it became a disaster.”

Temperatures in Colorado between June and December were the warmest on record, Balch said. The grasses grew thick because they had a wet spring, but saw no moisture until snow flurries arrived Friday night. 

“All of Colorado is flammable, our grasses are flammable, our shrubs are flammable, our trees are flammable,” Balch said. “This is a dry landscape that is flammable for good chunks of the year, and those chunks of time are getting longer with climate change.”

The lesson learned throughout this event is that the “wildland-urban interface is way bigger than we thought it was,” Balch said. That means a wider area is under threat of wildfire.

That border area — where structures built by people meet undeveloped wildland prone to fire — has always been the foothills, she said. Fire-fighters in Boulder consider the interface west of Broadway, a busy road that passes through the center of town. But Thursday’s fire sparked east of that line, next to thousands of houses that have sprouted up on the east side of the Rockies since the 1990s, Balch said. 

“There were stretches between Denver and Fort Collins that had no development, but now it’s just like one long continuous development track,” Balch said. “And those homes are built with materials that are very flammable — wood siding, asphalt roofing.

“We need to completely rethink how we’re building homes.”

The other important change is understanding how these fires start in the first place, she said.

“There’s no natural source of ignition at this time of year. There’s no lightning,” she said. “It’s either going to be infrastructure-related or it’s going to be human caused.”

“The way we live in the landscape and our daily activities make us vulnerable,” she said.

Over the last two decades, 97% of wildfires were started by people, according to a recent study by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Causes have ranged from accidents at construction sites, to a car with a hot tailpipe, to tossed cigarettes.

“I like to say, we need Smokey Bear in the suburbs,” she said. “We need to be thinking about how our daily activities can contribute ignitions or sparks that start wildfires.”

Unless people stop climate change by cutting back on fossil fuels, wildfires will threaten communities, Overpeck said.

“There’s little doubt in my mind that the conditions conducive to really bad wildfire, whether it’s grass or forest, are only going to get worse,” he said.

As more people move to areas where wildfires occur, the threat goes up.

“We’re building towns and cities and infrastructure and so it’s just a matter of time before we have whole towns burning down like we had in California and events like this in Colorado.” 

Posted by Ukrap on

Військові не зафіксували обстрілів на Донбасі 2 січня

«Підрозділи Об’єднаних сил контролюють ситуацію та продовжують виконувати завдання з відсічі і стримування збройної агресії Російської Федерації», – йдеться в повідомленні штабу ООС

Posted by Ukrap on

«Північний потік-2»: Україна «активно надає інформацію» США для розширення санкцій

«США поділяють нашу точку зору, що це – геополітичний інструмент тиску», – заявила посол Оксана Маркарова

Posted by Ukrap on

У МЗС Росії заявили, що поїздку Лукашенка до Криму можна організувати «хоч зараз»

Posted by Worldkrap on

French Mask Mandate Includes 6-Year-Olds

France has lowered the age of its mask mandate to 6-year-old children, officials announced Saturday. The news comes just days before schools reopen Monday, following the winter holiday break.

While the mandate requires children to wear masks in indoor public places, the mandate will also include outside locations in cities like Paris and Lyon where an outside mandate is already in place.

The wildly contagious omicron variant, French authorities said Saturday, has resulted in four consecutive days of over 200,000 new infections.

The chief executive of Britain’s National Health Service Confederation told the BBC Saturday that the surge in COVID cases fueled by omicron may force hospitals to ban visitors.

“It’s a last resort. But, when you’re facing the kind of pressures the health service is going to be under for the next few weeks, this is the kind of thing managers have to do,” Matthew Taylor said.

Europe has surpassed 100 million cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began nearly two years ago, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Worldwide, nearly 290 million cases have been recorded.

Nearly 5 million of Europe’s cases were reported in the last seven days, with 17 of the 52 countries or territories that make up Europe setting single-day new case records thanks to the omicron variant, Agence France-Presse reported Saturday.

More than 1 million of those cases were reported in France, which has joined the U.S., India, Brazil, Britain and Russia to become the sixth country to confirm more than 10 million cases since the pandemic began, Reuters reported.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Sunday that it has recorded 289.3 million global COVID cases and 5.4 million deaths.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and the Associated Press. 



Posted by Ukrap on

МВС: бойовики повністю блокують рух на п’яти з семи КПВВ на Донбасі

За даними МВС, за тиждень інтенсивність перетину лінії розмежування зменшилася на 9%

Posted by Ukrap on

Посол України в США розповіла, коли покращиться ситуація із туристичними візами і що треба для безвізу

«Через ковідні обмеження посольство США тут має зменшені можливості щодо видачі візи»

Posted by Worldkrap on

Why US Is Raising Pressure on China Over Treatment of Tibetans, Uyghurs

Human rights advocates are welcoming what they see as increased U.S. attention to Chinese behavior in its volatile Tibet and Xinjiang regions, suggesting that lobbying by rights groups may have contributed to the surge of pressure on Beijing.

A law, a boycott and the appointment of a government official added up in late 2021 to increased U.S. resolve toward the restive Chinese regions, these advocates say.

The Muslim, ethnic Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China and ethnic Tibetans in a region of China’s Himalayas have sparred over the past half-century with the Communist government over freedom of worship and displays of their indigenous culture.

“Paying particular attention to the humanitarian crisis in East Turkestan [Xinjiang] is in America’s national interest and in line with American values and tradition to call to action whenever genocide and crimes against humanity occur, such as the case of Uyghurs,” said Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress organization of exiled Uyghur groups.

“Much like the other countries in liberal democracies, Americans have this vow of ‘never again’ to allow vulnerable religious and ethnic groups subject to atrocity crimes like the Holocaust, and now the Uyghurs,” he said.

U.S. officials also are enmeshed in a nearly 4-year-old trade dispute with China as well as disagreements over Chinese territorial expansion in the seas around Asia and curbs on sharing advanced technology.

Multiple foreign governments, along with human rights advocates, say China has sent more than 1 million Uyghurs to detention camps. Beijing calls the compounds “vocational education centers” that are intended to stop the spread of religious extremism and terrorist attacks.

In Tibet, a religiously and ethnically non-Chinese region that China acquired in 1951, Beijing is increasing control over Buddhist monasteries and adding education in the Chinese language, not Tibetan. Critics of such policies are routinely detained and can receive long prison terms. 

In the past five years, Washington has called out China over its restrictions on anti-Beijing activism in Hong Kong and People’s Liberation Army flyovers in the airspace of Taiwan.

Mounting pressure

U.S. President Joe Biden cited China’s treatment of Uyghurs when announcing a diplomatic boycott this month of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

On Dec. 23, Biden signed into law the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The bill is meant to “ensure that goods made with forced labor” in Xinjiang do not enter the U.S. market. 

Targeting Tibet, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Dec. 20 designated Indian American human rights-focused undersecretary Uzra Zeya to serve concurrently as the U.S. special coordinator for Tibetan issues. 

Underscoring the human rights element, the U.S. special coordinator will lead efforts to “advance the human rights of Tibetans” and “help preserve their distinct religious, linguistic, and cultural identity,” the State Department website says. 

Legislators had urged Biden in early December to meet with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to ensure a place on his agenda for Tibetans’ rights.


Pressure on Biden?

Huang Kwei-bo, associate professor of diplomacy at National Chengchi University in Taipei, said in an interview that Biden’s focus on Tibet and Xinjiang is consistent with traditional U.S. policy, but may also have been prompted by “internal lobbying” from American human rights groups.

The labor centers are a “relatively new creation” established under Chen Quanguo, who took over in 2016 as the Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang, said Yun Sun, co-director of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center in Washington. Chen has also announced policies to limit Uyghur religious freedom. 

China replaced Chen this week in what Sun sees as a sign it wants to move beyond the labor camp policy he created in Xinjiang because the costs to Beijing’s international reputation outweigh the benefits.

Pema Doma, campaigns director at Students for a Free Tibet, credits communications from advocacy groups that warily watch China for the Biden government’s increased attention to Tibet and Xinjiang.

“It really is the bravery of human rights defenders, the ones that have survived through so much and still come out on the other side brave enough to keep speaking up against the Chinese government,” Doma told VOA.

Students for a Free Tibet wants Biden to oppose the forced assimilation of Tibetans and Uyghurs into Chinese culture, Doma said. Western nations can learn from their own histories of racial problems to prevent China from “brainwashing” Tibetans and Uyghurs.

“The Biden administration really has a responsibility to act differently than previous administrations,” she said. “It needs to break the mold, because China isn’t sitting around.”

China’s reaction

Chinese officials are rejecting now, as before, U.S. actions toward its western regions as interference. “I think China’s most recent tone is rather assertive, to say ‘don’t interfere in our domestic affairs,'” Huang said.

The official Xinhua News Service criticized the U.S. bill on sanctions against Xinjiang as “full of vicious lies” and “nothing but another desperate attempt to interfere in China’s internal affairs through ‘long-arm jurisdiction.'” 


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Solar Power Projects See the Light on Former Appalachian Coal Land

Looking west from Hazel Mountain, Brad Kreps can see forested hills stretching to the Tennessee border and beyond, but it is the flat, denuded area in front of him he finds exciting.

Surface coal mining ended on this site several years ago. But with a clean-up underway, it is now being prepared for a new chapter in the region’s longstanding role as a major energy producer – this time from a renewable source: the sun.

While using former mining land to generate solar energy has long been discussed, this and five related sites are among the first projects to move forward in the coalfields of the central Appalachian Mountains, as well as nationally.


Backers say the projects could help make waste land productive and boost economic fortunes in the local area, part of a 250,000-acre (101,171-hectare) land purchase by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 2019, one of its largest such acquisitions.

“There’s very little activity going on this land, so if we can bring in a new use like solar, we can bring tax revenue into these counties that are really trying to diversify their economies,” said Kreps, a TNC program director.

Besides creating a new source of green energy, the project offers a model for solar development that does not impinge on forests or farmland, he said.

TNC, a U.S.-based environmental nonprofit, has identified six initial sites for solar plants in the area and is now moving forward with projects on parcels covering about 1,700 acres.

The two companies that have bid to do the work – solar developer Sun Tribe and major utility Dominion Energy – estimate the projects could produce around 120 megawatts (MW) of electricity, potentially enough to power 30,000 homes.

Construction is expected to start in two or three years after pre-development work and permitting are completed.

“This is a ground-breaking model,” said Emil Avram, Dominion’s vice president of business development for renewables in Virginia.

Dominion believes it is the largest utility-scale renewable energy initiative to be developed on former coal mining land, and could be replicated elsewhere, Avram added.

Renewables targets

The U.S. government formally began looking at putting renewable energy installations on disturbed land – including mines, but also contaminated sites and landfills – in 2008.

Since then, the RE-Powering America’s Land program has mapped over 100,000 potential sites covering more than 44 million acres, and helped establish 417 installations producing 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, according to March data.

A toxic landfill site in New Jersey, for instance, now hosts a 6.5-MW solar installation, while a former steel mill in New York has been turned into a wind farm with capacity of 35 MW.

Yet on mine land, the work has so far been mostly limited to doing inventories and providing technical assistance, resulting in fewer than a half-dozen projects, said Nels Johnson, TNC’s North America director for energy.

That has stunted solar developers’ interest in mine land, he said – a knowledge gap he hopes the new projects can help fill, particularly amid a surging focus on meeting clean energy goals.

“After five to 10 years of almost nobody paying attention to this, there’s an awakening starting to take place,” he said. “As more and more states pass renewable energy commitments, it’s kind of a situation of the dog catching the car.”

Virginia, for instance, has a 2020 clean energy bill that, among other things, pushes for Dominion Energy’s electricity in the state to be carbon-free by 2045.

There are about 100,000 acres affected by coal mining in southwest Virginia alone, said Daniel Kestner, who manages the Innovative Reclamation Program for the state’s energy department.

“Reusing land like former coal mines makes a lot of sense instead of looking at prime farmland … or lands near populated areas where there may be conflict,” he said.

Kestner’s team is now exploring renewable energy development as an approved option for required post-mining reclamation work.



Appalachia had harbored a deep-rooted skepticism toward renewable energy, said Adam Wells, regional director of community and economic development with Appalachian Voices, a nonprofit that works in former coal communities.

But recent years have seen a turnaround, he noted, with the recognition that the coal industry – the region’s longstanding main economic driver – will not return to its former strength.

Across the country, the number of coal mines dropped by 62% from 2008 to 2020, based on U.S. government figures, translating into a loss of 100,000 jobs since the mid-1980s, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Starting around 2015, Wells said, “it became necessary to talk about what life after coal looks like in Appalachia. And so, as a result, it became safe to talk about solar.”

While the number of jobs from utility-scale solar development does not compare to coal-industry jobs, he said, it could still be significant.

“It does generate notable and meaningful tax revenues for localities at a time of declining revenues from coal,” he added.

For now, communities are watching the shift with a “wait-and-see” attitude, he said.

Dominion Energy’s 50-MW project is the largest of the six local solar initiatives now underway.

While Dominion does not have job and tax revenue estimates for that project, it noted in a recent regulatory filing that 15 newly proposed solar projects across Virginia would generate more than $880 million in economic benefits and support almost 4,200 jobs associated with construction.

The company is under major pressure to increase solar production and is planning for an additional 16,000 MW by 2035, executive Avram said, requiring new capacity of about 1,000 MW annually through that date.

“That will require a fair amount of land – a thousand acres per project, roughly,” he said.

While the initial mine-land project in southwestern Virginia is relatively small, he said, it is an important “stepping stone” in learning how to work on previously disturbed sites.

TNC’s Kreps sees much more opportunity, literally on the horizon.

“There’s hundreds of thousands of acres like this across the region – and in many cases, right now they aren’t creating a lot of economic value,” he said.

His organization, he added, aims to demonstrate “that we can manage these lands for nature outcomes and people outcomes.” 

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Judge Rules Prince Andrew Can’t Halt Lawsuit with Domicile Claim

Prince Andrew’s effort to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 — on the grounds that she no longer lives in the U.S. — was rejected by a federal judge as oral arguments were set to proceed Monday on the prince’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in a written order Friday, told the prince’s lawyers they must turn over documents on the schedule that has been set in the lawsuit brought in August by Virginia Giuffre. Giuffre says she was abused by the prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while she was being sexually abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein. The prince’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, has called the lawsuit baseless.

The order was filed three days before the scheduled public release Monday of a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre. Lawyers for Andrew say that the agreement protects the prince from claims like those brought by Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for the lawsuit’s dismissal.

The prince’s lawyers had claimed that the evidence was so strong that Giuffre does not reside in the United States that it was pointless to exchange evidence until that question is resolved because it could result in the lawsuit’s dismissal.

They argued that Giuffre has lived in Australia for all but two of the past 19 years, has an Australian driver’s license and lives in a $1.9 million home in Perth, Western Australia, where she has been raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

In a statement, Giuffre attorney Sigrid McCawley called the request to halt the case “another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to duck and dodge the legal merits of the case Virginia Giuffre has brought against him. All parties in litigation are subject to discovery and Prince Andrew is no exception.”

Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted that the prince’s lawyers have requested that extensive materials be turned over by Giuffre by Jan. 14, including documents related to where she has lived. And he said the prince’s attorneys have not yet formally raised to the defense that the lawsuit cannot proceed on the grounds that Giuffre has been living in Australia rather than Colorado, where her lawyers say she is a resident.

His order expressed no opinion on the merits of the prince’s claims that Giuffre should be disqualified from suing because she lives in Australia.

Oral arguments via a video teleconference on the prince’s request to dismiss the case are scheduled for Monday morning.

In October, the prince’s lawyers attacked the lawsuit on multiple grounds, saying Giuffre had made false claims against Andrew because he “never sexually abused or assaulted” her.

“Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew,” the written arguments said.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted Wednesday of charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy after a monthlong trial.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has. 

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US Takes Ethiopia, Mali, Guinea Off Africa Duty-free Trade Program

The United States on Saturday cut Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from access to a duty-free trade program, following through on President Joe Biden’s threat to do so over accusations of human rights violations and recent coups.

“The United States today terminated Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the AGOA trade preference program due to actions taken by each of their governments in violation of the AGOA Statute,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.

Biden said in November that Ethiopia would be cut off from the duty-free trading regime provided under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) because of alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region, while Mali and Guinea were targeted because of recent coups.

The suspension of benefits threatens Ethiopia’s textile industry, which supplies global fashion brands, and the country’s nascent hopes of becoming a light manufacturing hub. It also piles more pressure on an economy reeling from the conflict, the coronavirus pandemic, and high inflation.

“The Biden-Harris administration is deeply concerned by the unconstitutional change in governments in both Guinea and Mali, and by the gross violations of internationally recognized human rights being perpetrated by the government of Ethiopia and other parties amid the widening conflict in northern Ethiopia,” the trade office statement said.

The AGOA trade legislation provides sub-Saharan African nations with duty-free access to the United States if they meet certain eligibility requirements, such as eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment and making progress toward political pluralism.

“Each country has clear benchmarks for a pathway toward reinstatement and the administration will work with their governments to achieve that objective,” it added.

The Washington embassies of the three African countries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ethiopia’s Trade Ministry said in November it was “extremely disappointed” by Washington’s announcement, saying the move would reverse economic gains and unfairly impact and harm women and children.

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EU Moves to Label Nuclear, Natural Gas Energy as ‘Green’

The European Union has drawn up plans to label some natural gas and nuclear energy projects as “green” investments after a yearlong battle between governments over which investments are truly climate-friendly.

The European Commission is expected to propose rules in January deciding whether gas and nuclear projects will be included in the EU “sustainable finance taxonomy.”

This is a list of economic activities and the environmental criteria they must meet to be labeled as green investments.

Green label

By restricting the “green” label to truly climate-friendly projects, the system aims to make those investments more attractive to private capital and stop “greenwashing,” where companies or investors overstate their eco-friendly credentials.

Brussels has also made moves to apply the system to some EU funding, meaning the rules could decide which projects are eligible for certain public finance.

A draft of the commission’s proposal would label nuclear power plant investments as green if the project has a plan, funds and a site to safely dispose of radioactive waste. To be deemed green, new nuclear plants must receive construction permits before 2045.

Investments in natural gas power plants would also be deemed green if they produce emissions below 270g of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour (kWh), replace a more polluting fossil fuel plant, receive a construction permit by December 31, 2030, and plan to switch to low-carbon gases by the end of 2035.

Gas and nuclear power generation would be labeled green on the grounds that they are “transitional” activities, defined as those that are not fully sustainable but have emissions below industry average and do not lock in polluting assets.

“Taking account of scientific advice and current technological progress as well as varying transition challenges across member states, the commission considers there is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future,” the European Commission said in a statement. 

To help states with varying energy backgrounds to transition, “under certain conditions, solutions can make sense that do not look exactly ‘green’ at first glance,” a Commission source told Reuters, adding that gas and nuclear investments would face “strict conditions.”

EU countries and a panel of experts will scrutinize the draft proposal, which could change before it is to be published later in January. Once published, it could be vetoed by a majority of EU countries or the European Parliament.

What is green?

The policy has been mired in lobbying from governments for more than a year, and EU countries disagree on which fuels are truly sustainable.

Natural gas emits roughly half the CO2 emissions of coal when burned in power plants, but gas infrastructure is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent planet-warming gas.

The EU’s advisers had recommended that gas plants not be labeled as green investments unless they meet a lower 100g CO2e/kWh emissions limit, based on the deep emissions cuts scientists say are needed to avoid disastrous climate change.

Nuclear power produces very low CO2 emissions but the commission sought expert advice this year on whether the fuel should be deemed green given the potential environmental impact of radioactive waste disposal.

Environmentalists opposed

Some environmental campaigners and Green EU lawmakers criticized the leaked proposal on gas and nuclear.

“By including them … the commission risks jeopardizing the credibility of the EU’s role as a leading marketplace for sustainable finance,” Greens president Philippe Lamberts said.

Austria opposes nuclear power, alongside countries including Germany and Luxembourg. EU states including the Czech Republic, Finland and France, which gets around 70% of its power from the fuel, see nuclear as crucial to phasing out CO2-emitting coal fuel power. 


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У перший день нового року бойовики 4 рази порушили «тишу» на Донбасі, втрат у ЗСУ немає – штаб ООС

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Посол Маркарова розповіла, якої техніки для оборони варто очікувати Україні від США у 2022 році

Україна цьогоріч отримає від США військові катери, зокрема типу «Айленд» і Mark VI

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У Києві й інших містах України організували акції та «марші» у день народження Бандери (фото)

1 січня виповнюється 113 років від дня народження провідника Організації українських націоналістів, сприйняття постаті котрого досі залишається неоднозначним у суспільстві