EU Leaders Fail to Agree on Gas Shortage Response Amid Emission Concerns

Talks on how to respond to Europe’s energy crisis collapsed during the European Council summit on Thursday due to differences in assessments of the spikes in gas prices.

The subject of energy prices was the last item in the Council‘s agenda during the summit that was left unresolved after two rounds of heated talks, and government leaders were unable to adopt conclusions nor a compromise.

The key differences among the bloc’s stances were over the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and whether nuclear energy was to be considered a sustainable investment.

Poland and the Czech Republic reportedly pushed for reforms in the ETS, blaming the spike in energy prices on the program’s carbon permits. Majority of the bloc had disagreed with the view.

The emissions cap-and-trade program imposes pollution limits on industrial plants. The Council is currently eyeing a deep reform to align the program with climate targets of 2030 by making emission permits harder to acquire.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters after the summit that “the EU ETS fell over and is not working.”

The bloc was also split on the EU’s taxonomy of renewable energy, with pro-nuclear countries clashing against anti-nuclear Germany, Austria and Luxembourg over whether nuclear energy is to be considered green.

Conclusions for the energy agenda were eventually abandoned, which observers noted was a rare move for the Council.

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