Nuclear ‘excluded’ from EU’s new Just Transition Fund

(EurActiv, 14 Jan 2020) The EU’s regional policy Commissioner Elisa Ferreira revealed on Tuesday (14 January) details of the €100 billion Just Transition Mechanism, a key financial component of the European Green Deal that should make the bloc climate neutral by 2050.

“Nuclear energy is excluded from the Just Transition Mechanism,” Ferreira told a small group of journalists ahead of the college meeting of the European Commission that approved the proposal for the fund aimed at supporting poorer EU regions achieve climate neutrality.

EU leaders agreed in December on a bloc-wide objective of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. In order to convince Hungary and the Czech Republic to sign up, they also reaffirmed the right of countries to decide on their own energy mix, including nuclear.

Poland refused to sign up, saying it needed more EU funding to help phase out coal. The Just Transition Fund is intended to support regions that will be particularly affected by the changes brought by ‘greening’ the economy.

Ferreira confirmed “no country or region” will be excluded but the objective is to concentrate on those areas facing the most dramatic challenges.

The Commission will, therefore, take into account the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions of the industrial sector compared to the EU average and the impact in terms of employment of the transition for these industries. The relative prosperity of the country will also be considered.

“One thing is the needs of a country and another thing is the capacity that the country has, both from the past but also at the moment, to solve its own problem without any specific help,” she said.

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EurActiv, 14 Jan 2020: Nuclear ‘excluded’ from EU’s new Just Transition Fund