‘Do no harm’: Nuclear squeezed out of EU green finance scheme

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    European Greens claimed victory on Thursday (5 December) after EU negotiators reached agreement on a green finance taxonomy aimed at channelling billions of private investor’s money into clean technologies. Coal, and – in principle – nuclear power, are out, reports Euractiv.

    The deal, reached by national envoys and EU Parliament negotiators yesterday evening, marks a stunning defeat for France, which lobbied hard to win recognition for nuclear energy as a low-carbon source of energy.

    “Nuclear energy should be part of this eco-label,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire back in October, in comments that irritated Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, the EU countries most staunchly opposed to nuclear.

    “Do no harm” test

    But the European Parliament “resisted attempts from national governments to politicise the environmental criteria” underpinning the EU’s new sustainable finance classification scheme, the Greens said in a statement.

    A strengthened “do no harm” principle means nuclear power will – in all likelihood – be excluded from the EU’s green finance taxonomy when experts sit down to agree detailed implementing rules next year, they said.

    The ‘no-harm’ test “will help avoid nuclear energy from being considered an environmentally sustainable investment,” the Greens said in a statement to the press.

    The taxonomy will provide investors, pension funds and private equity firms with “a common definition of what is green and what is not” in order to channel more capital into sustainable businesses and prevent “green-washing,” the European Commission said last year when it tabled the proposed new regulation.

    The deal creates three categories for sustainable investments: “green”, “enabling” and “transition”. It also obliges companies with more than 500 employees to disclose how much of their activities are compliant with the three new categories, the FT reported.

    ‘Do no harm’: Nuclear squeezed out of EU green finance scheme