Nuclear energy eligible for sustainable financing

26 September 2019

World Nuclear Association welcomes the decision of the European Council not to exclude nuclear projects from being eligible for sustainable finance grants.

Agneta Rising said: “Nuclear energy is an integral part of several European Union member states’ climate mitigation efforts. It has shown – be it in France or Sweden – that it has the potential to deliver sustainable energy transitions. Excluding nuclear energy from our future would be a disastrous decision for the climate.”

It is time for European institutions to acknowledge that nuclear energy is an important solution to climate change. Several international organisations have already pointed out nuclear energy’s contribution to sustainable development, such as the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, and the World Energy Council.”

Nuclear energy remains the largest source of low-carbon generation in the European Union, supplying more than one quarter of the region’s electricity. But too often a small number of dissenting voices prevent Europe from taking effective action. For Europe to catch up on climate actions, it must reject efforts to discount nuclear energy for political purposes, and assess all low-carbon technologies on their relative merits.

Germany’s decision to phase out its nuclear plants by 2022, but leave its coal plants running until 2038, as announced by its Chancellor, Angela Merkel at the UN Climate Action Summit earlier this week, is environmentally irresponsible. Despite massive investments in renewables, Merkel’s government was recently forced to scrap the country’s 2020 emissions target after observing Germany’s carbon emissions barely changed over the last decade.

Rising said: “It is crucial that we evaluate energy sources in an equal way, based on objective criteria, be it CO2 emissions, air pollution or their physical footprint throughout the entire life-cycle. When considering all those criteria, nuclear ranks as one of the best sources of energy.”

Transitioning to a cleaner energy system will be drastically harder and more costly without action to provide more support for nuclear power, as pointed out by the International Energy Agency recently”. 



Notes to editors:

World Nuclear Association’s latest publication on the crucial role of nuclear energy for a sustainable world – The Silent Giant – can be accessed here.

World Nuclear Association is the international organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers by producing authoritative information, developing common industry positions, and contributing to the energy debate, as well as to pave the way for expanding nuclear business.

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