The European Commission is looking into whether nuclear energy can be classed as a sustainable green investment. But the EU executive’s decision to task its research centre with the assessment has already prompted criticism.
EU member states struggled to agree on the EU taxonomy – a framework for sustainable investments that will apply from 2021 – before finally brokering an agreement in December last year. The compromise allows natural gas and nuclear energy to be used as “transitional technologies”.
But the debate is far from over, as shown by a letter addressed to Commission leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Frans Timmermans from German Bundestag MP Sylvia Kotting-Uhl (Greens).
Kotting-Uhl says that the Commission’s decision to task the Joint Research Centre (JRC) is flawed because the scientific subdivision emerged from the EU’s Euratom programme and the research continues to be co-financed by it to this day.
The fact that the review was delegated to the JRC is “absurd”, the Green MP insists, as the authority is biased and “in no way in a position to make an objective decision.”