As a long-time campaigner against Hinkley C, Bristol's Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has welcomed news that Greenpeace Energy, a green energy supplier in Germany, is taking renewed legal action through the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over subsidies for the new nuclear power station.
The new action follows a complaint by the supplier lodged with the General Court of the EU in Luxembourg last year against the EU Commission for approving billions of euros of State aid for the controversial nuclear project. The General Court dismissed this action so Greenpeace Energy has now lodged an appeal with the ECJ.
Molly has also made her own challenge. In March this year she wrote to the Commission asking it to investigate whether a proposed rescue plan for Hinkley C was in breach of European state aid rules. She said:
“Any efforts to try and block this economically illiterate and technically flawed project deserves support. The subsidies being offered to the Hinkley project will distort competition on the electricity market in Europe and have a chilling effect on investment in renewables.”
“Yet this is just the time when we need an innovative renewable energy revolution, not to resort to the failed technologies of the past. With the climate crisis wiping out a large chunk of the Great Barrier reef; unprecedented sea ice melt occurring this year, and the Paris Agreement committing nations to keep the rise in global temperature to less than 2 degrees, we need an emergency Plan B for energy. A plan based on a wide range of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency and innovative smart grid and energy storage solutions.
“With strong political will – rather than the ideological opposition to renewables we have seen from the Conservatives – these are solutions that can be implemented in the speedy time frame required for tackling climate change and meeting our commitments under the Paris Agreement. Hinkley won’t deliver a single watt of electricity until at least 2025.
“If legal action is the only way to make our government and the Commission see sense on the disaster that is Hinkley, then we must support it. And it is no good the government trying to hide behind the veil of Brexit; as long as the UK is a member of the EU, it is bound by European law.”