In 24 May 2018, the European Commission submitted to the Council a “Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment”, also referred to as “Green Taxonomy Regulation”.

EREF, the voice of independent producers of renewable energies from the European Union and its Member States, says it “strongly” rejects that the regulation would include nuclear as part of green financing.

Germany, Luxembourg and Austria want to exclude nuclear-related projects from the outset.

As Annex to the latest Energy Council meeting at the  end of September 2019 in Brussels, the three countries urged in a specific declaration to take out any link to nuclear financing from the draft regulation.

They clearly issued their “strong concerns that the proposed framework would leave the door open to diverting financial resources away from environmentally sustainable activities and into technologies that are economically or socially unacceptable”. 

They refuse the idea that the financing for the extension of life of nuclear power plants could be earmarked as green financing. In line with the European Parliaments view they do not want any greenwashing of nuclear energy under the draft regulation.

But as yet the three countries could not reach a majority vote in Council.

Major objective of the draft regulation and the Council’s view is that in order to be considered as sustainable financing, projects will need to contribute “substantively” to at least one of the six goals, and not “significantly” harm any of the environmental objectives. 

The six goals are: 

  • climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation, sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources;
  • transition to a circular economy, including waste prevention and recycling; pollution prevention and control; 
  • prevention and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

EREF says it strongly supports the view of Austria, Germany and Luxemburg and their supporters in the Council. “Nuclear energy can never fulfil the UN rule on sustainability.”

The established definition is from the major UN report from March 1987 “Our Common Future”, also known as the Brundtland Report: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” And exactly this is not attainable by nuclear energy. 

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.


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