Several nuclear power and natural gas plants could be classified by the European Union as green investments that can help Europe reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this could result into nuclear energy rebound in the continent.
The plan aims to establish a uniform definition of “sustainable investment” in Europe. The EU has began discussions and its members would have the last say in any final proposal.
“The Commission considers there is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future,” according to a statement on Saturday.
The idea ends one of Europe’s most tense political disputes as its leaders seek to save the globe from climate catastrophe.
It comes after months of intense lobbying between a pro-nuclear coalition led by French President Emmanuel Macron and other European countries concerned about nuclear proliferation.
One of the main worries for the German-led bloc is the safe disposal of radioactive waste, which is why nuclear power would be considered a long-term investment. By 2045, new facilities would be deemed long-term investments and have to perform safety upgrades for the sake of maintaining “the greatest achievable safety standards.”
If they meet specific emissions standards and take the place of more polluting fossil fuel facilities, natural gas plants could be considered “transitional” green energy sources for investment purposes.
As economies shift towards greener sources like wind and solar power and new technologies like hydrogen power, promoters of natural gas and nuclear energy argue these sources of electricity may be vital.
However, E3G policy adviser Tsvetelina Kuzmanova, a specialist on sustainable finance, said that incorporating nuclear and natural gas as clean energy would be “naming something that isn’t green, green.”
According to Tsvetelina Kuzmanova, a policy adviser at the Brussels-based think tank E3G, “calling something that isn’t green, green” is what the inclusion of nuclear and natural gas in the taxonomy amounts to.
As a result of the EU’s ultimate decision, other countries may be impacted, and she warned that “a race to the bottom” may result.
And according to George Borovas, head of Hunton Andrews Kurth’s nuclear practice, a new generation of smaller, cheaper nuclear power facilities around the world is increasingly being seen as a low-carbon response to climate change. “There will be a nuclear renaissance,” he said. “It’s not going to be for everyone, but it will be for a number of countries.”
Original source material for this article taken from here