Nuclear Politics

Climate Change / Foratom Welcomes Taxonomy Agreement And Urges Level Playing Field For Nuclear

By David Dalton
18 December 2019

Foratom Welcomes Taxonomy Agreement And Urges Level Playing Field For Nuclear
Europe’s nuclear energy industry has welcomed an agreement between the European council, parliament and commission on new criteria to determine whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable and the fact that it does not blacklist nuclear energy.

“To ensure a level-playing field, Foratom believes that the same criteria should be applied equally to all power producing technologies,” a statement said.

The European parliament confirmed on Tuesday that negotiators had reached an agreement on the legislation. The so-called “taxonomy” stipulates that a number of environmental objectives should be considered when evaluating how sustainable an economic activity is.

The agreement, which will now have to be approved by two committees and a plenary vote, does not blacklist nuclear energy, but says it can potentially be labelled as an enabling or transitional activity under the “do no significant harm” principle.

The “do no significant harm” principle is designed to ensure that economic activities making a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation must be assessed to ensure they do not cause significant harm to all remaining environmental objectives

The Brussels-based industry group Foratom, which represents a number of national nuclear associations, said the “do no significant harm” assessment should be undertaken by experts with a strong knowledge of the nuclear life cycle.

It said it is confident that such an approach, which will evaluate selected energy sources on the basis of criteria such as CO2 emissions, will lead to the recognition of nuclear energy as “a sustainable source of energy that contributes significantly to climate change mitigation”.

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