Council maintains nuclear as eligible for ‘green’ finance

(EurActiv, 25 Sep 2019) EU ministers have decided not to exclude nuclear projects from being eligible for sustainable finance grants, despite the demands of a group of member states and the European Parliament.

The EU’s 28 member states adopted on Wednesday their joint position on the new rules to clarify what represents sustainable finance.

The transition towards a ‘greener’ economy will require billions of euros. To achieve the EU’s 2030 climate targets, the European Commission has estimated that around €180 billion a year of additional investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy will be needed.

Private funding will play a key role in this effort. However, not all investments marketed as sustainable financing meet the necessary environmental credentials.

In May last year the Commission proposed setting up an EU classification system, or taxonomy, that will help to identify what economic activities are considered as environmentally sustainable.

In its position, the Council included six objectives that would help to distinguish what represents ‘green finance’.

However, a majority of member states did not want to exclude nuclear energy from the taxonomy, as Germany, Austria and Luxembourg demanded.

EU sources explained that, at this stage, the goal was only about establishing the overall objectives. The Commission has been tasked with coming up with technical standards and thresholds to implement the objectives.

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EurActiv, 25 Sep 2019: Council maintains nuclear as eligible for ‘green’ finance