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Europe must keep low-carbon nuclear in EU sustainable taxonomy

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Why we ask European Commissioners to resist the pressure to ignore the science about Europe's largest source of low-carbon energy.

In 2022, activists from RePlanet and other organisations gathered in Strasbourg to show public support for nuclear power.

Faced with attempts to challenge the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities, the environmental group RePlanet has sent a letter today urging European Commissioners to stick with the science. As evidence-based environmentalists, they want their policymakers to accept nuclear energy for what it is – a clean, low-carbon energy source with a role to play to avoid a worsening climate crisis and to gain independence from fossil fuels.

In July 2022, it was decided that Europe’s largest source of low-carbon energy be included in the EU taxonomy, which was established to classify investments that are environmentally sustainable. This decision was taken after the EC’s Joint Research Centre established that nuclear has the lowest life-cycle mineral resource needs of all energy sources, which is beneficial for the environment and the economy as well as supply chain security. As the most power-dense source, nuclear also provides land-sparing benefits for the energy transition to a low-carbon economy. The JRC report also discussed technical and stakeholder solutions for nuclear waste.

In addition, the war in Ukraine has once again made it clear that Europe should not be dependent on Russian fossil fuels, as they make the functioning of societies and economies across the continent vulnerable while enabling Putin to keep waging war. This is another reason why RePlanet is calling on policymakers to embrace nuclear power and thereby support Ukrainians.

Recently, both the Austrian government and Greenpeace have announced challenges to the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy. Greenpeace argues that nuclear power is not sustainable, directly contradicting the conclusions of the JRC report. These attempts may hamper the deployment of nuclear, further delaying firm climate action, and will keep Europe dependent on fossil fuels. That’s why RePlanet has sent a letter to the European Commission.


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