Germany to Vote No on Nuclear in EU’s Green Taxonomy

German government said it will oppose the EU’s plans to include nuclear energy as sustainable in its green taxonomy policy for labeling green investments.

The European Commission has been looking for approval from member states and the European Parliament for its plan to label some nuclear and natural gas projects as green investments, which has created a division among members who disagree on the fuels’ green credentials.

Germany announced that it plans to reject the proposal when members vote on it in the coming weeks.

The government said it has expressed opposition to the proposal’s rules on nuclear energy. German environment and economy and climate ministries said in a statement that the country’s opposition makes clear that nuclear energy is not sustainable and should not be included in the taxonomy.

20 of the 27 EU members must vote no to reject the rules, a high threshold which is seen unlikely to be reached. However, Germany’s position could steer opinion in the European Parliament when the lawmakers will vote for the proposal in July.

The EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy was designed to provide a standard for green investing, by limiting which investments can be labeled climate friendly.

While nuclear energy has zero carbon emissions, it produces radioactive waste. Austria and Luxembourg have also opposed nuclear energy’s inclusion and threatened legal action over the plan to label nuclear investments as green.

The plan to label natural gas as climate friendly has faced criticism from countries including Spain, although some countries had lobbied hard for the taxonomy to incentivize gas investments to help them phase out coal. Gas emits less CO2 than coal when burned, but is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

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