The European Commission’s proposal prompted sharp criticism from Germany, with its environment minister calling the plan “absolutely wrong”. The Commission argues that natural gas and nuclear power is a key component in helping lower-income countries transition to cleaner power like solar and offshore wind energy. The Commission’s proposal says: “It is necessary to recognise that the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Union’s economy,”
The Commission argues that natural gas and nuclear power is a key component in helping lower-income countries transition to cleaner power like solar and offshore wind energy.
The EU taxonomy for sustainable activities is a system of classification that is established to determine which investments are environmentally sustainable.
This system was created in the wake of the European Green Deal in July 2020 and was made to help prevent “greenwashing” among different investments.
According to Reuters, the draft of the proposal would label nuclear power plant investments as green if the project has a plan, funds and a site to safely dispose of radioactive waste.
To be considered green, new nuclear plants must acquire construction permits before 2045.
The Commission would also place restrictions on gas plants, including keeping a limit of how much carbon dioxide is released per kilowatt-hour of energy produced.
For a while, the decision on including nuclear to this list has been a contentious one, with a number of European countries vehemently opposing the classification of nuclear as “green”.
France is leading a group of twelve countries that support the inclusion of nuclear energy as a part of a green taxonomy.
France relies heavily on nuclear energy, as it generates 70 percent of its electricity. However, it aims to reduce this by half over the next 15 years.
READ MORE: VDL yields to Macron as EU to class nuclear energy as green