European Union countries agreed on Wednesday that the bloc’s flagship fund to wean regions off fossil fuels should not finance nuclear or natural gas projects, despite calls from some Eastern countries for gas to be eligible for EU funding. The European Commission, the EU’s executive, wants to set up a 40 billion euro Just Transition Fund, comprised of 30 billion euros from an EU coronavirus recovery fund and 10 billion euros from its budget for 2021-27. The fund aims to encourage a shift from high-carbon industries that would help coal miners to retrain and find new low-carbon jobs, and support regions whose economies depend on polluting sectors to build new industries. Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states agreed on Wednesday that the Just Transition Fund should not support the decommissioning or construction of nuclear power plants, nor investments related to fossil fuels, according to a document published on Thursday. The position is in line with the Commission’s, making it likely that the final Just Transition Fund will exclude nuclear and gas. The proposal will be finalised following negotiations between member states, the Commission and EU Parliament, with the latter typically favouring ambitious climate change policies. With EU leaders still wrangling over the size and shape of the EU’s recovery fund and budget, member states held off agreeing a number for the size of the pot.
Reuters 25th June 2020 read more »
In 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal, under which it aims to become climate-neutral by 2050. In May of this year, the commission also unveiled a new instrument to fund the bloc’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, in line with the Green Deal principles. This reinforced the drive for renewables investment. pv magazine examines what the latest developments mean for solar.
PV Magazine 20th June 2020 read more »
Europe is facing pressure to include natural gas and nuclear power as part of its plan for sustainable finance. Why it matters: Europe represents the progressive edge of the world’s response to climate change and controls a lot of finance in developing nations, so what it does on these controversial energy sources could set the bar globally. Driving the news: The European Commission is poised to decide in the coming months to what degree natural gas and nuclear power, along with other types of energy technologies, are considered sustainable and worthy of investment. The policy, known as sustainable taxonomy, is part of the European Green Deal, a sweeping climate policy the commission introduced late last year that has now been incorporated into the continent’s plan to economically recover from the pandemic. What’s happening: In a report the International Energy Agency issued Thursday reviewing Europe’s energy policies, the influential intergovernmental agency urged Europe to include the technologies. “Natural gas and nuclear energy need to be covered under the taxonomy as transition technologies. If this is not the case, this may have wide impacts on private and public funding for these sectors.” The big picture: These two energy types have long been controversial for different reasons, but they both fill key roles in cutting emissions, either on an absolute basis (nuclear power emits zero heat-trapping emissions) or relatively speaking (natural gas emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal).
Axios 26th June 2020 read more »
The European Union cannot afford to reduce its energy diversity and will need stronger policies than those currently in place to help it meet its 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency as well as its long-term climate goals, according to a new review of EU energy policy from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
World Nuclear News 26th June 2020 read more »