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EU states split on classifying nuclear energy as ‘green’ 

EU states split on classifying nuclear energy as ‘green’ DW  12 Nov 21,

“It’s too risky, too slow and too expensive,” Germany says — while other EU members have pushed for the bloc to classify nuclear power as eco-friendly for investors.

Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark and Austria spoke out on Thursday against the classification of nuclear energy as a climate-friendly source of power

The five countries issued a statement on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in Glasgow, COP26. It comes as the European Commission is working on a so-called EU taxonomy, in which it lists what the bloc considers as “environmentally sustainable economic activities.” 

Some other EU countries, led by France, are seeking to add modern forms of nuclear energy to that list……

“The current decade will be crucial for our common path toward climate neutrality and an economic system that respects the limits of our planet,” Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark and Austria said in a statement. 

Therefore, it is crucial to have an EU taxonomy that considers the sustainability of a form of energy “throughout its life cycle,” the signatories added, referring to the radioactive waste generated by nuclear power use. 

They also warned that the classification could risk diverting EU funds from renewable energies such as wind and solar power.

“Nuclear power cannot be a solution in the climate crisis,” said German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze.

“It is too risky, too slow and too expensive for the crucial decade in the fight against climate change,” she added. 

Austria’s environment minister, Leonore Gewessler, also backed Germany’s stance, saying, “Just because something is not quite so bad doesn’t mean it’s good.” 

What about the countries supporting nuclear energy?

France, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have called on the European Commission to classify nuclear power plants and nuclear waste storage facilities as “green.” 

They also want the taxonomy to include natural gas-fired power plants.

What is the EU taxonomy? 

Compiled by the European Commission, the highly anticipated classification system is a list of “environmentally sustainable economic activities.”  

The Commission has said the list should “create security for investors, protect private investors from greenwashing, help companies to become more climate-friendly, mitigate market fragmentation and help shift investments where they are most needed.”

If Brussels classifies nuclear power as “sustainable” in the legal text, it will count as a direct recommendation to financial markets to invest in nuclear plants…..

 many environmentalists oppose nuclear power, citing the risk of nuclear meltdowns and the difficulty of properly disposing of nuclear waste.   

November 13, 2021 - Posted by | climate change, EUROPE


  1. Nuclear is not green. It’s the 3rd highest carbon emitter after coal-fired and natural gas electricity generators. Life cycle emissions 66 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour compared with 9 grams per kilowatt-hour for wind and 32 grams per kilowatt-hour for solar.
    [“Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power”: A critical survey
    Benjamin K. Sovacool Energy Policy 36 (2008) 2940– 2953]

    Comment by Richard | November 13, 2021 | Reply

    • Excellent comment. I put it up as a post.

      Comment by Christina Macpherson | November 14, 2021 | Reply

      • It’s an outlier study from more than a decade ago, completely contradicted by the IPCC figures.

        To put it more simply: It’s wrong.

        Comment by Jadebenn | November 14, 2021

      • The situation remains the same . Nuclear’ss still too risky, too slow, too expensive. And quietly accepted now – it’s only use is to keep th enuclear weapons industry going, – providing a ‘respectable” way to fund things military.

        Comment by Christina Macpherson | November 14, 2021

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