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Viewpoint: Is science (and not politics) finally driving the EU Taxonomy?

The recent assessment by the EU’s scientific body, the Joint Research Centre, that nuclear energy does no more harm to human health or the environment than any other power-producing technology considered to be sustainable may be a sign of the green stamp of approval needed for the inclusion of nuclear in the EU Taxonomy on sustainable finance, write Elina Teplinsky, Vincent Zabielski and Victoria Judd, partner, special counsel and counsel, at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Victoria Judd, Elina Teplinsky and Vincent Zabielski (Image: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP) “The EU Taxonomy Regulation, a system that classifies economic activities as environmentally sustainable to help the EU meet its Green Deal objectives, has emerged as an increasingly complex and politically fraught framework despite what should be a science-based approach to climate change mitigation.

The biggest controversy surrounds the question of whether nuclear energy and natural gas should be included in the Taxonomy and thus classified as sustainable. With respect to nuclear specifically, while a number of EU members see nuclear energy as a key tool in meeting their decarbonisation objects, others remain opposed to granting nuclear the green label on general political grounds, frequently citing concerns surrounding the permanent disposal of […]

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