Grossi “absolutely confident” about inclusion of nuclear in EU taxonomy: Energy & Environment


04 November 2021

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, said he was “absolutely confident” that “certain arrangements” will be made to accept nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy on sustainable investments. In an onstage interview at COP26, he said escalating gas prices had increased political interest in nuclear power.

Magnified during his interview at COP26 (Image: Jonathan Cobb)

The interview at COP26 marked a new era of IAEA engagement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process to address climate change. Although the agency has participated regularly in COP events, it has not previously taken a prominent position to represent nuclear energy and explain its role.

Grossi told his interviewer, British journalist Gillian Tett, that achieving net zero without nuclear power would be “extremely difficult, much more expensive and longer”. This is one of the reasons why “There is increased recognition that this is part of the solution and that it will be part of the solution. “

Given the recent price increases in the gas and electricity markets, Grossi said, “We’ve seen this movie before with oil and other price volatility.

“It is obvious that what we have seen with the multiplication of gas prices has only increased the interest – the urgency of the interest – in countries dependent or fragile on gas supplies from other suppliers, ”Grossi said.

COP “is the place to get such a message [of energy security]”said Grossi,” because you’re looking at policy decisions that are 10 to 15 years away. But it sticks perfectly well. You have to have stable markets, not only from a price point of view, but also from an environmental and all aspects. “

Tett described the European Union’s debate on its taxonomy of sustainable investments as “an episode of civil war”. She asked if Grossi thought nuclear would be included. “It will,” was her response, “I am absolutely confident. We saw the President of the European Commission (Ursula von der Leyen) the other day say that we need it as a stable source.

“I won’t get involved,” Grossi said. “I was in Brussels last week. It’s not that people are telling me what’s going to happen. They’re going to make an arrangement to include it.”

He continued: “Let’s look at the science. There is a political thing, but there is also science: the Joint Research Center – the highest scientific body of the European Commission – has come to the conclusion that nuclear power does not matter. no more harm than the other sources.

“It will be included one way or another for sure,” he said. “In the EU, half of the countries using nuclear want more. I’m sure they will find a consensus.”

Research and writing by World Nuclear News


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