Germany expected to reject EU green investment label for nuclear

19 May 2022

Germany will oppose European Union (EU) plans to include nuclear energy as a sustainable investment in its "taxonomy" policy for labelling green investments, the government said on 16 May. The European Commission is seeking approval from EU members and the European Parliament for plan to label gas and nuclear as climate-friendly investments.

"The Federal Government has expressed its opposition to the taxonomy rules on nuclear power. This 'no' is an important political signal that makes clear: Nuclear energy is not sustainable and should therefore not be part of the taxonomy," Germany's environment ministry and its economy and climate ministry said in a statement.

"Accordingly, the Federal Government would vote for the Council to object to the EU Commission's delegated legal act," the ministries said.

To reject the rules, 20 of the EU's 27 countries must oppose it. So far, only a minority of countries including Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Spain have been critical of the proposal. The proposal could also be stopped if a majority of the European Parliament voted against it, but that appears unlikely. Austria and Luxembourg have also threatened legal action over the plan to include nuclear. Spain is objecting to the inclusion of gas, while other countries had lobbied hard for the taxonomy to incentivise gas investments to help them phase out coal. Gas emits less CO2 than coal when burned, but is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

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