Some 86 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have sent a letter to the European Commission (EC) calling on Commissioners "to follow the science" and include nuclear under the EU's Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. 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 on Sustainable Finance. The letter was organised by Swedish MEP Sara Skyttedal, member of the Swedish Christian Democrats and the European People’s Party, and signed by MEPs from 18 countries across the political spectrum.
The letter draws attention to the fact that the scientific assessment of nuclear concludes that "the existing legal framework provides adequate protection in terms of public health and the environment", which Foratom says means nuclear complies with the requirements of the Taxonomy. It asks the EC "to take this scientific work seriously and not to discriminate against nuclear".
“The European Union has committed itself to becoming climate neutral by the middle of the century,” the letter notes. “This requires great efforts from the Member States as well as the EU as a whole. No effort can be spared in this important work, neither from the EU nor from the Member States. The taxonomy regulation has the potential to be a decisive tool in this regard.”
It continues: "We cannot afford to ignore any energy sources that have the prerequisites to make a positive contribution on the path towards climate neutrality. That nuclear power is such a kind of energy source is, to us, obvious. Therefore, those member states that for this reason choose to invest and wish to mobilise private capital towards nuclear installations should not be met with resistance, but encouragement, from the EU. We are very pleased to see three different expert reports from the Commission that points in a similar conclusion. Not the least the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) report “Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‘do no significant harm’ criteria of Regulation (EU) 2020/852”, published this March. Last week the results of two scientific boards - Article 31 report and the SCHEER report - were published by the Commission. Reports that mostly confirms the findings in the JRC report, that the existing legal framework provides adequate protection in terms of public health and the environment.”
The MEPs welcomed the findings of the JRC and the two scientific boards. “This means that the scientific review acknowledges key elements of the “do no significant harm” principle. If we, and the EU as a whole, are serious about facing the climate crisis with powerful tools, then we cannot reasonably discriminate against any fossil-free technology with as much potential as nuclear power objectively has.”
Referring to a recent communication from five European countries (Germany, Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain) opposed to nuclear power, the letter says: "There are obvious political wills from Member states without nuclear power, or with nuclear power currently being phased out, to persuade the European Commission to ignore scientific conclusions and actively oppose nuclear power. We urge the Commission to be brave enough to disregard these calls and to choose the path that their scientific experts have now advised them to take, namely to include nuclear power in the taxonomy.”
It concludes: "The taxonomy regulation should be guided by the desire to achieve climate neutrality and by the principle of “do no significant harm”. In the past, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has pointed out nuclear power as a key in the fight against climate change. The European Commission's expert body has now reached similar conclusions. It is our hope that the European Commission is courageous enough to create EU regulations that do not actively generate disadvantages for investments in nuclear power, or any other fossil free technology."