What's this "Taxonomy" anyway?
The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. It aims to help financial markets choose sustainable investments.
On 2 February 2022, the European Commission voted to include some nuclear and gas energy activities in the EU's "Taxonomy", but only as "transitional" activities.
A major objective was to accelerate the low-carbon transition and phase out coal, the most polluting fossil fuel.
However, on 14 June 2022, MEPs of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee raised an objection to the Commission's plan, claiming that the technical screening standards proposed by the Commission do not respect the criteria for environmentally sustainable economic activities as set out in the Taxonomy Regulation. But this is only a recommendation.
The Taxonomy Regulation is scheduled for a vote during Parliament’s plenary session of 4-7 July 2022. If more than half of the MEPs vote in favour of nuclear it will pass and be included in the taxonomy. This is the final step.
WHY WE SUPPORT NUCLEAR INCLUSION IN THE TAXONOMY
Supporters of nuclear power, including 12 EU member states who publicly backed its inclusion, say that nuclear is a low-carbon power source that must be part of any energy mix to tackle climate change, and does not cause more significant harm than other industries included in the taxonomy. They say that science and evidence support its inclusion.
WHY THE WORLD NEEDS NUCLEAR POWER
Voices of Nuclear (Les Voix du Nucléare) says:
The current level of greenhouse gas emissions puts us on a path of anthropogenic global warming from +4°C up to +6°C at the end of century. More than 80% of the world's energy still comes from coal, oil and gas, whose resources will quickly reach their limits, and from unsustainable biomass.
All low-carbon energy sources are necessary to move away from fossil-fuels while guaranteeing as many people as possible fair and non-precarious access to energy.
Nuclear energy is a low-carbon energy source which does not pollute the air, has the least impact in terms of occupied space and natural resources consumed, saves lives by having the lowest human casualty rate in relation to the energy produced, has the capacity to decarbonise electricity but also heat production, and thermal combustion.
Nuclear can function at any time and almost any place, does not depend on wind or sun, its output power is controlled by humans, not the variability of nature and does not require costly complex modifications to existing transmission grids. In most countries, nuclear provides energy independence and does not rely on unstable geopolitical agreements.
Voices of Nuclear stress that without nuclear, gas will be necessary for backing up wind and solar, thus locking in more carbon emissions.
The organisation has called for an all-European demonstration in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday July 5th (6-9 PM) and Wednesday July 6th (8-11 AM) to show approval of nuclear energy in the EU Taxonomy.