Germany wants EU allowances for nuclear exit

02 April 2008

[Handelsblatt, 1 April] German economics minister, Michael Glos, is calling for the European Union (EU) to make allowances to Germany in its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to its phase out of nuclear energy. He has written to environment minister Sigmar Gabriel saying that the country's planned nuclear phase out must be taken into account when the EU is allocating CO2 permits to member states as part of its plan to reduce the region's emissions. "The higher emissions resulting from the phase out of nuclear energy must be considered by the European Union in the total budget of emissions trading," Glos said. He referred to the example of Sweden, which at the end of the 1990s secured itself special treatment due to its nuclear phase out. He said that Sweden was able to raise its CO2 emissions quota by 4% from 1990 to 2012. Glos said that Sweden set a precedent from which Germany could now benefit. Under the EU plan, Germany must reduce its CO2 emissions by 21% between 1990 and 2012, while the EU as a whole must cut its emissions by 8%. The EU aims to cut emission by 20% by 2020. According to Handlesblatt, the closure of all 17 nuclear reactors in Germany and their replacement with other energy sources would result in 150 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.