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Lintilä and other EU ministers’ joint article: Europe needs nuclear power

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
11.10.2021 10.16 | Published in English on 12.10.2021 at 11.02
Press release

In a joint article published in several European newspapers on 11 October 2021, the ministers of 10 EU Member States write that nuclear power is part of the solution to reduce emissions and to strengthen Europe’s self-sufficiency in energy. According to the ministers, nuclear power must be included in the taxonomy for sustainable finance, which the European Commission is currently preparing.

Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä is one of the signatories of the article. 

“Electrification of industry and society as a whole highlights the importance of our own energy production. For Finland, nuclear power is an important part of reliable and emission-free electricity production. That is why we and other countries try to influence the Commission to recognise the importance of nuclear power in climate change mitigation,” Lintilä says. 

In addition to Finland, ministers from France, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Hungary have signed the article. According to Lintilä, the matter has been actively discussed between like-minded Member States and the Commission.

“The rising price of energy in Europe underscores the need to phase out fossil fuels. In addition to renewable energy, nuclear power plays an important role in this. The upcoming EU decisions must promote low-emission energy production in Europe, instead of serving as an obstacle to it,” Lintilä adds.

The ministers state that Europe must reduce its dependency on energy supply from outside the EU. Reducing emissions and developing hydrogen use, for example, will increase the need for electricity. The studies carried out on behalf of the European Commission to assess the environmental impacts of nuclear energy support the inclusion of nuclear power in the taxonomy, the ministers write. 

Die Welt in Germany, Le Figaro in France and La Repubblica in Italy were among the papers that published the article on Monday 11 October 2021. 

So far, the Commission has not presented a proposal on the criteria that would make nuclear power eligible for the taxonomy. The taxonomy for sustainable finance classifies activities, such as energy production, based on their environmental sustainability. The taxonomy aims to provide investors with information on the sustainability of the activities they fund. One of the criteria assesses the impact of economic activities on climate change mitigation.

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs outlined Finland’s objectives concerning nuclear power and the taxonomy in summer. According to Finland, the criteria for nuclear energy play an important role in the technical criteria concerning climate change mitigation. It is therefore essential that the Commission adopts a complementary delegated act with criteria for nuclear energy as soon as possible.

Inquiries: 
Teppo Säkkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 516 2868  
Katja Tuokko, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 465 5533

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