It is a European Council very largely devoted to climate. Heads of State and Government will try to reach an agreement on the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Progress is expected, but there are still three countries to convince - Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic - and important blocking points.
The first point that is debated is the amount of financial assistance for the energy transition, reports our special correspondent in Brussels, Juliette Gheerbrant . The European Commission has announced a transition budget of 100 billion euros over 7 years. Poland alone believes it needs so much to switch to cleaner energy, the country still depends 80% of coal.
Another very sensitive problem, which could block an agreement: the use of this money. Building nuclear power plants is exactly what one of the three countries blocking an agreement, the Czech Republic, wants.
" Without nuclear power, it is not possible for the Czech Republic. If you really want to achieve carbon neutrality, it has a cost. For the Czech Republic, it is in the order of more than 30 to 40 billion euros. So that's why we need to discuss it and not just say "OK, let's do it" by promising anything, without analyzing the situation, "warned Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis. Budapest has exactly the same position, and for the Hungarians the use of nuclear power must be included in the agreement.
A priority for Macron
Finding an agreement on the "Green Pact" is a priority for Emmanuel Macron, he wants to appear as green president in France and this leaves to defend the nuclear industry, says our special envoy in Brussels, Anthony Lattier . A good solution according to the French president to lower CO2 emissions in polluting countries.
" The Giec has also recognized, the nuclear is part of the transition. For the countries that have to get out of the coal, it is clear that they will not be able to go from one day to the next at all renewable. It's not possible, "said Emmanuel Macron.
But Germany, Luxembourg and Austria are fiercely opposed to it. The Austrians explained on Thursday afternoon that the text as it is suited them. It does not mention the type of energy used in this transition. On the other hand, for Vienna, mention of the use of nuclear power is a red line that should not be crossed.
Other points under discussion
Other points are under discussion as the will defended by the commission and France to levy a carbon tax at the border on products imported from countries that do not respect the Paris agreements, as the United States, for example, it the competitiveness of the European Union.
One thing is certain a failure would be a blow on the eve of the COP25 closure, while the popular mobilization is strong. It is also a blow for Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who has just presented her green pact and put climate at the heart of her mandate. . Discussions promise - as often - to be long and difficult.
See also: The European Council examines the "Green Pact"