The Green Deal must not become a “Green Steal,” warned Flanders’ Minister for the Environment Zuhal Demir on Tuesday.
Demir came under fire recently for criticising the EU’s policies in regards to CO2, which she said were taken out of context.
De Standaard ran an article to fact-check the Minister’s statement that “energy prices are so high due to deliberate EU policies to drive up CO2 prices,” and Demir tweeted that “some fact-checks need a fact-check, because inconvenient truths have their rights too.”
Sommige fact-checks hebben nood aan een fact-check. Omdat ook ongemakkelijke waarheden hun rechten hebben.
— Zuhal Demir (@Zu_Demir) January 18, 2022
“European politics plays an important role in the price increases on the international energy market,” Demir said in a statement. “Since I made that statement, a battle has started to deny or sweep it under the carpet. It is an inconvenient truth, with a selective fact check in De Standaard as a result.”
Demir said that high energy prices have several causes, and that the two most important ones “are the result of a deliberate European policy to put pressure on our own energy supplies on the one hand, thus increasing our dependence on gas from father Putin, and on the other hand to push up CO2 prices at a pace that the average wallet cannot cope with.”
Timing is poor for phasing out of coal and nuclear
Belgium and the rest of Europe is already experiencing an explosion in energy costs, and Demir warns that “energy prices in Europe will remain high for some time to come,” citing the European Central Bank and the stock market firm Jefferies.
At the same time as all European countries have reduced their energy production from polluting coal, production from nuclear energy has fallen sharply due to “political considerations, among other things.”
Demir is opposed to Belgium’s planned nuclear exit, saying the closure of the reactors will increase the country’s reliance on gas from Russia and that such a phase-out should have been accompanied by significant investments to ensure supply.
“Under loud applause from the European Commission, the EU has never become so dependent on gas imports and therefore geopolitics,” Demir said.
“With current European policy, the old energy prices will not return. Greenflation is not a figment of our imagination.”