Daily Management Review

Germany Will Not Support EU Green Investment Label For Nuclear Power Plants


The German government announced on Monday that it will oppose European Union plans to include nuclear energy as a sustainable investment in its "taxonomy" scheme for labelling green projects.
Brussels is seeking permission from EU members and the European Parliament for a plan to classify gas and nuclear power as climate-friendly investments, which has sparked debate among governments that disagree about the fuels' environmental credentials.
When countries vote on the plan in the coming weeks, Germany, the EU's largest economy, is among those planning to vote no.
"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 guidelines, 20 of the EU's 27 member states must vote against them, a high bar that is unlikely to be met. However, Germany's stance could sway opinion in the European Parliament, where a majority of the assembly's 705 lawmakers could vote in July to oppose the gas and nuclear measures.
The EU's sustainable finance taxonomy was created to provide a "gold standard" for green investing by limiting which investments can be labelled as climate-friendly to those that really help the environment.
Nuclear power creates no CO2, but it does produce radioactive waste. Separately, Austria and Luxembourg have threatened to sue over the intention to classify nuclear investments as environmentally friendly.
Spain has criticised the decision to designate gas as climate-friendly, despite the fact that several nations had campaigned hard for the nomenclature to incentivize gas investments to help them phase out coal. When burned, gas releases less CO2 than coal, but it is also linked to methane leaks, a strong greenhouse gas.