EU delays classification of nuclear energy for green finance
European Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness has Recount The Financial Times that the bloc will take longer to make a decision on whether or not to include nuclear energy and natural gas in its “taxonomy on sustainable financing”, initially scheduled for this fall.
The delay comes in the middle of the chase energy crisis, which led to the collapse of utility companies UK and called for the EU to provide more advice and assistance to Member States. With soaring electricity prices, European leaders must now meet tomorrow to discuss solutions and the now-delayed taxonomy.
“As we come to the end of the year, there will be more pressure to resolve this issue,” McGuinness said. “We don’t have a ready-made solution because it is, both technically and politically. . . one of those issues where you have very mixed views.
Nuclear power has long been a source of contention in green finance, and in recent weeks the debate has only intensified between nations who believe the inherent dangers outweigh the benefits and those who insist on the fact that nuclear energy is vital for the energy transition and their own energy security. This week alone, 10 countries, including France, Finland, Poland, and Hungary said it was “absolutely necessary that nuclear energy be included in the taxonomic framework”.
McGuinness said the proposal could be pushed back until next year, especially in light of various elections in several key member states. Given the intensity of the debate, both on the part of Member States and interested parties such as environmental groups, it will likely take significant political will to come to some sort of unified decision.
Like McGuinness said The Financial Times: “We hear from citizens and businesses talking about higher energy costs and keeping the lights on. We need to make sure that we don’t create fears that this transition is a problem because transition is the solution.
While there are apparently various options on the table as to how the taxonomy might ultimately unravel, it will undoubtedly set a benchmark for future green funding. Within the EU, it will form the basis of a “green bond standard” that will be used to issue € 250 billion as part of the bloc’s stimulus fund.