On 20th November, the EU published the draft guidelines under the EU’ green taxonomy, a long-awaited policy document that could become the world’s first “green-list” for international investors. Part of the EU Green Deal programme, the taxonomy aims to channel investments into low-carbon, sustainable projects, which makes the absence of nuclear power in the taxonomy, as a low-carbon energy source, just the more curious.
The decision to exclude nuclear isn’t entirely self-explanatory. After all, the European Commission’s climate Chief Frans Timmermans recently confirmed that Brussels “won’t stand in the way” of new nuclear plants in the EU – although the taxonomy draft seems to discourage the use of nuclear as a tool in fighting climate change. Yet in doing so, Brussels is at odds with current developments in its Eastern and Central member states, where governments are pushing hard to modernize and expand their nuclear fleets in an attempt to slash carbon emissions from their energy mix.
It’s not as if several EU members states such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have been waiting for approval from Brussels in opting for nuclear power. There would be little that Brussels could do to stop the trend in any case, according to Rauli Partanen, a Finnish energy analyst and author. Read more…