Will nuclear power get the green EU label?
Ten EU countries are calling on Brussels to label nuclear power as a green source in the EU's taxonomy for sustainable activities. Among them are states like France, which have long relied on nuclear power, and also countries like Poland, which only now plan to start building nuclear power plants. The taxonomy is seen as an important guide for sustainable investments. Commentators are divided.
This could accelerate Poland's decarbonisation
Business Insider Polska sees the probable compromise on the EU taxonomy as an important step for private investment in nuclear power:
“Global warming and growing pressure towards decarbonisation are accelerating the energy transition. In Poland's case, nuclear power could be the answer to these challenges. If the Polish government is convinced that nuclear power is the solution, it must both implement state projects that are key to energy security and support smaller private investments that can complement these projects. ... Positive decisions on nuclear energy at the EU level should make it easier and cheaper to implement these difficult projects.”
That's realpolitik for you
A poor compromise is better than none at all, Ilta-Sanomat points out:
“There is a risk that the whole package will fall through if competing demands are not met. According to leaked reports, the solution could be a compromise that classifies both nuclear energy and natural gas as environmentally friendly. This compromise would dilute the EU's green promises, because neither nuclear energy nor natural gas are as clean as wind and solar power, for example - let alone renewable. But unlike the promises of pretty speeches the realities of daily life often demand compromises - otherwise the promises won't be fulfilled.”
Wind and solar are cheaper
New nuclear power plants are not the way out of the climate crisis, says Deutschlandfunk:
“Firstly, because things have to happen very quickly. Coal has to be phased out in the industrialised countries by 2030 if the climate targets of the Paris Agreement are to be met - and in developing countries, not much later. It takes many years and often decades to build nuclear reactors. And new, small reactors from the assembly line, as proposed by Bill Gates and Emmanuel Macron, only exist in theory so far. If they become reality, that will take time. Secondly, nuclear power plants are far too expensive. They can only compete with modern wind turbines and solar power plants if supported by immense subsidies.”