From the Times of London:
The role of nuclear power in Europe received an unexpected boost yesterday as EU leaders hailed a landmark climate change deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and switch to renewable fuels.
Environmentalists complained that an ambitious headline goal to cut Europe’s CO emissions by a fifth by 2020 had been weakened by concessions to the main nuclear nations and the biggest polluters in Eastern Europe.
Nonetheless, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, will use the agreement struck at the spring EU summit in Brussels to put pressure on world leaders to follow suit when she hosts the G8 meeting in June.
Jacques Chirac, the outgoing French President, welcomed the deal as one of the top three achievements of the EU during his 12 years in the Elysée Palace.
Tony Blair was also pleased with the concession towards the nuclear powers. The outcome will give a boost to his plans to rebuild Britain’s ageing nuclear power stations which suffered a setback last month when the High Court ruled that the consultation process was seriously flawed. Mr Blair said: “There is then the 20 per cent target on renewable energy. In setting that, there will be permission to look at the energy mix that countries have . . . including nuclear technology, which obviously helps the UK as well.”