EU taxonomy: Trade unions urge MEPs not to oppose plan

25 May 2022

The 20 unions representing Belgian, Bulgarian, Czech, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovakian and Slovenian energy workers say the inclusion of nuclear and gas in the EU taxonomy is vital for tackling climate change and increasing energy independence.

European Parliament members have until 10 July to decide (Image: European Parliament)

In the letter to Members of the European Parliament’s economics, environment and industry and energy committees it urges them to "vote for (or at least not oppose)" the Complementary Climate Delegated Act (CDA) which provides for the inclusion of nuclear and gas in the EU taxonomy.

Read more: A guide to the EU's 'green' taxonomy - and nuclear's place in it

In a joint statement the unions said: "For the employees of the electricity and gas industries represented by the European trade unions who signed this letter, the inclusion of nuclear and gas in the European taxonomy is of primary importance for the climate challenge, for diversifying energy supplies and increasing European energy independence, for social justice, for economic sustainability and for the future of their jobs in an essential industrial and service sector. Also, the war in Ukraine is a wake-up call for Europe to diversify its energy resources and reinforce its energy autonomy.

"We want to emphasise that the Complementary Delegated Act was the best compromise that could be reached. Considering nuclear energy as a transition energy cannot be considered as appropriate, however, the transitional qualification for nuclear energy is better than not having it at all covered by the taxonomy ... the transitional dimension of gas in the CDA is appropriate considering that some investments will be necessary for the diversification of EU gas resources (and putting an end to Russian dependency)."

The European Parliament has until 10 July to decide on the European Commission’s proposal to include, with certain conditions, nuclear and gas energy activities in the list of economic activities covered by the EU taxonomy - ie, classified as "environmentally sustainable".

As part of the on-going scrutiny of the commission’s plan, the European Parliament committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will be holding a public hearing on 30 May ahead of a scheduled vote on objection on 14 June.

A report last month in the Irish Times suggested that an internal consultation had found a large majority of MEPs on the evironment and economics committees opposed the current proposal.

If the commission's proposal is not opposed by the European Council - which is seen as unlikely - or by a simple majority in a European Parliament vote, it is scheduled to come into force at the end of the year.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News