“If they are already working, I think it is a mistake to close the nuclear power plants” at this time of energy crisis. The statement is from Greta Thunberg in an interview that aired Wednesday on German television, the country that is probably the most affected by the energy problems stemming from the invasion of Ukraine. Thunberg’s statements coincide with the meeting of European energy ministers in Prague to try to lower electricity prices and which has been limited to verifying that there is still no consensus among the different governments to impose a cap on the price of imported gas, although the Commission intends to propose it next week for analysis by the leaders of the member countries.
The Swedish teenager and planetary climate activist now says that shutting down nuclear power plants is a “bad idea” if it meant going back to coal as it is being done. When she was asked if she nuclear energy was preferable for the weather, Thunberg said: “It depends. If they are already working, I think it would be a mistake to close them and resort to coal. She herself recognized that the debate on nuclear energy “is very infected” and it is to be expected that her words will contribute to “infecting” it even more in Europe.
Together with the Netherlands, Germany is precisely the country that is now most strongly opposed to the idea of the EU imposing a price cap on imported gas. German Deputy Energy Minister Sven Giegold said in Prague that the idea of simply imposing a price limit “is a media debate” and that “experts, everyone agrees that there is a world market for liquefied natural gas and if we put a cap too low, we run the risk of not receiving any gas.
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson believes that the best way to lower gas prices purchased by European electricity companies is to negotiate with “reliable suppliers” such as Algeria, Azerbaijan and, above all, the United States. “But we have to prepare ourselves if these negotiations are not fast enough and therefore we need a temporary mechanism to limit prices” assuming “the risks that this mechanism inevitably entails”.
Simson has not detailed in any case how this temporary mechanism would work, which the members of the European Council will have to analyze next week when the Commission presents its umpteenth plan. From what the commissioner did explain, it can be deduced that the main point of agreement between the countries is to apply the reduction in gas demand of at least 15% to help lower the price, even decreeing the energy emergency situation that would make this compulsory trimming.