The inclusion of nuclear and gas in the EU Taxonomy is a crucial step towards European energy transition, but some criteria still need to be clarified

On 2 February 2022, the EU Commission adopted the long-awaited Complementary Delegated Act (CDA) establishing criteria for the alignment of nuclear and gas activities with the EU Taxonomy. We welcome the inclusion of these core technologies in the EU Taxonomy but recognise that the final proposal leaves several issues open for interpretation.

Decorative image of nature

Throughout the development of the EU taxonomy framework, Fortum has called for a technology-neutral approach and the appropriate recognition of the role of nuclear energy in European energy transition, in line with the Paris agreement. Therefore, we are pleased to see that the complementary delegated act (CDA) recognises the vital contribution of CO2-free nuclear power in the EU decarbonisation efforts.

However, we remain disappointed that the majority of existing nuclear is not included as was recommended by both the commission’s own research centre and the Finnish and Swedish governments. The final text leaves several issues open for interpretation and further discussions with authorities are also needed.

We are currently having a more detailed analysis on the business impact of the technical screening criteria, including an assessment relating to implications to the potential Loviisa nuclear power plant lifetime extension.

We further welcome the EU Commission’s decision to acknowledge the role of natural gas as a necessary transition technology towards climate neutrality. However, the very narrow criteria of the EU taxonomy will make necessary investments in additional gas-fired power plants more difficult in countries where flexible gas is needed for the security of supply.

Towards climate neutrality

In line with Fortum’s strategy, our power generation in Europe will be carbon neutral by 2035. We are working towards a carbon-neutral European economy and fully support the EU’s climate commitments. The EU decarbonisation process should be founded on a market-based and climate-oriented policy, following strong carbon pricing, competition amongst climate-neutral technologies and a well-calibrated CO2 threshold.

Merja Paavola

Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs
Tel: +358 50 396 1161
merja [dot] paavola [at] fortum [dot] com

Anne Malorie Géron

Director, EU Affairs
Tel: +32 47 865 2801
anne-malorie [dot] geron [at] fortum [dot] com