Energy Minister Claude Turmes took aim at Germany’s business-friendly FDP for stalling the combustion engine row over the past few weeks and criticised Paris for its recent repeated attempts at pro-nuclear lobbying.
Turmes, a green politician and former EU lawmaker, criticised two of the EU’s heavyweights ahead of an EU ministers’ meeting Tuesday.
Regarding Germany, Turmes mentioned opposition to the facto ban on petrol and diesel cars from 2035 that led to the Commission and Germany agreeing to leave space for e-fuels in the Union’s push to phase out combustion engines.
“E-Fuels are a policy for rich Porsche 911 drivers”, and it was “unacceptable” that the liberal FDP in Germany was able to hold the EU hostage because of their domestic electoral defeats, said Turmes.
Germany’s FDP “needed to prove that it still exists” but neglected people with regular jobs in the process as they would not be able to afford e-fuels at “€6-8 per litre”, he stressed.
According to Luxembourg’s minister, producing e-fuel for cars would also be counterproductive since the car industry would have to compete with the steel and chemistry industries that already use hydrogen, which is needed for e-fuel production but is scarce.
Turmes, hailing from anti-nuclear Luxembourg, also took aim at the French government, criticising its recent yet repeated attempts at lobbying for the energy source at EU level.
According to him, French energy giant EDF has been on the wrong track in pushing nuclear power over the past 30 years. This was once again made clear this winter as France could not “light up the Champs-Elysée” and instead relied on German electricity imports, he added.
Still, French President Emmanuel Macron seemingly seeks to leverage “every trick in the book” to locate additional funding for what Turmes calls a defunct energy company.
(Luka Krauss| EURACTIV.com)