The Austrian government said on Monday it had filed a legal complaint with the EU Supreme Court over plans by the bloc’s executive branch to label natural gas and nuclear production as sustainable energy.

Austria’s environment minister, Leonore Gewessler, warned that the measure could “clean up” nuclear energy and gas despite the environmental damage it causes.

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Another EU member, Luxembourg, later announced that it would support Austria in the lawsuit, adding more political weight to the move.

Austrian Minister for Climate Protection, Technology and Innovation Leonore Gewessler, pictured here in Vienna, Austria on April 20, 2021, helped bring a lawsuit against the EU Executive Commission after announcing the l ‘intention to label natural gas and nuclear energy as sustainable energy.
(Photo AP / Lisa Leutner, File)

The EU Executive Commission plans to add some nuclear and gas plants next year to a list that will help investors determine which projects are sustainable.

Gewessler said the disasters of Chernobyl in Ukraine and Fukushima in Japan showed that nuclear power plants carry “incalculable risks”. Meanwhile, the burning of natural gas, a fossil fuel, adds greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, fueling climate change.

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A dozen environmental groups have already launched legal challenges to the Commission’s plans, backed by bloc lawmakers in July.

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