The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The European Commission Platform on Sustainable Finance concludes that nuclear and gas power are not green

Nuclear and gas power ‘not green’, say EC experts

EC Platform on Sustainable Finance delivers final report on extending sustainable finance rules across the whole EU economy, and includes a bombshell.

A European Commission (EC) expert group has made wide-ranging recommendations on extending the scope of the EU Taxonomy – the classification system that defines environmentally sustainable economic activities – across the European economy.

The EC Platform on Sustainable Finance’s final report will inform important new EU legislation, due in the autumn, which will in turn guide future policy and investment decisions.

The report concludes that gas and nuclear power cannot be described as ‘green’ under the taxonomy’s ‘do no significant harm’ (DNSH) rules – although leaves the final decision to the European Commission.

The expert panel’s final report considers 12 sectors, including manufacturing, transport, agriculture, fishing, building and disaster risk management. It is still finalising criteria for forestry and agriculture. 

The report proposes a ‘traffic light’ system, listing red activities requiring urgent transition to avoid significant harm, amber activities that could more easily qualify for taxonomy-recognised investment, and green, low environmental impact (LEnvI) activities. 

Welcoming the report, Sebastien Godinot, senior economist at WWF European policy office, commented: “The platform’s recommendations are a crucial step towards the much-needed ‘biodiversity taxonomy’, aimed at driving billions into nature-friendly activities.”

He added: “However, WWF is concerned that some criteria for critical sectors like forestry and agriculture are not [yet] included. The platform must publish recommendations for them no later than May.”

The EU Taxonomy, which came into force earlier this year, provides the technical underpinning for a number of interlinked EU regulations on sustainable finance products, disclosures and reporting. The taxonomy’s purpose is to increase financial flows towards green activities and to reduce green-washing by setting science-based criteria for performance. It is hoped that the taxonomy will become a global ‘gold standard’ for green finance. 

The taxonomy is governed by the Taxonomy Regulation, which came into force on 12 July 2020 and identifies activities that improve or diminish six objectives (climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, sustainable water resources, transitioning to a circular economy, pollution prevention and control and protecting  biodiversity and ecosystems). Article 26.2(a) of this regulation requires the commission to report on applying its rules across the wider economy and to define sectors that have no environmental impact or are outside its scope.

At the same time as the taxonomy came into effect, the EC presented the Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act (TCDA). In response to restrictions to Europe’s natural gas supplies at the beginning of the year, the legislation was controversially complemented by a second Delegated Act, which defined nuclear and natural gas powered energy as ‘green’. This caused widespread objections from environmental and climate change groups.

The TCDA is being scrutinised by the European Parliament and the Council, before going back to the EC. The EC is expected to draft a new Delegated Act, building on the platform’s latest recommendations, in the autumn. This should resolve whether nuclear and gas-powered energy will count as sustainable for policy and investment purposes in the EU.

While asserting that nuclear and gas power are not green, the platform’s report gives the commission ‘wiggle room’ by suggesting a “systems-wide approach to the low-carbon transition”.

It says: “The extended Taxonomy framework would acknowledge the reasons why these activities are not green, explaining why, in some cases, [they] may be significantly harmful, but also showing that there is potential for valid and urgent transitions away from significantly harmful performance.”


April 7, 2022 - Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international

1 Comment »

  1. […] The European Commission Platform on Sustainable Finance concludes that nuclear and gas power are not… […]

    Pingback by Good reason to speak to climate deniers – Some View on the World | April 7, 2022 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: