European unions on 27 July reiterated calls for the European Commission (EC) to include nuclear power in its green goals. In a joint letter to EC President Ursula von der Leyen, 18 trade unions in the energy sector from 10 countries said nuclear energy must be included in a delegated act of the European taxonomy. The unions - from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Romania, Sweden, Slovak Republic and Slovenia - called for "a dialogue with the purpose of nuclear energy to play its full potential and build an economically efficient and socially just carbon-free Europe by 2050".
"The European Union can in no way afford to deprive itself of proven and available low-carbon solutions as it wants to achieve its climate neutrality objective and not lose the leadership battle to the US and other states," the letter noted. "Our trade union federations also point out that the energy mix falls within the competence of the Member States, each of which has its own geographical, historical and industrial context, and must therefore be able to determine the range of carbon tools adapted to their context and make their own technological choices. Therefore it is of utmost importance that the European taxonomy respects technological neutrality and scientific consensus, and the taxonomy rules should apply equally to all technologies."
This is just the latest in a series of letters and reports related to the issue. In January, 13 unions representing energy and nuclear workers wrote to von der Leyen saying nuclear energy must be part of the European taxonomy to meet the objectives of the Green Deal.
In March, the leaders of seven EU states wrote to the EC seeking more support for the role of nuclear power in EU climate and energy policy. The letter was signed by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, French President Emmanuel Macron, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cî?u, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša.n Sustainable Finance.
Also in March, the EC's Joint Research Centre (JRC) concluded that nuclear should be included in the taxonomy and two other expert groups said existing European legal framework provides adequate protection in terms of public health and environment in the EU. In April, the EC announced its decision to include nuclear energy in a complementary Delegated Act of the EU Taxonomy Regulation, which will also include natural gas and related technologies.
On the other hand, on 30 June, a group of five EU member states led by Germany sent a letter to the EC asking for nuclear energy to be kept out of the EU’s green finance taxonomy. The letter, which was signed by the environment or energy ministers from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, and Spain, noted “shortcomings” in the report by the JRC. “Nuclear power is incompatible with the Taxonomy Regulation’s ‘do no significant harm’ principle,” the ministers wrote, urging the Commission to keep nuclear out of the EU’s green finance rules. “We are concerned that including nuclear power in the Taxonomy would permanently damage its integrity, credibility and therefore its usefulness,” they warned.,
Then earlier in July, 86 Members of the European Parliament called on the EC "to follow the science" and include nuclear under the EU's Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. According to a letter sent to Commissioners and published by European nuclear trade body Foratom, the MEPs urge them "to choose the path that their scientific experts have now advised them to take", namely to include nuclear power in the EU's Taxonomy.
The debate continues.