Press release

Just Transition Mechanism must support all low-carbon options

Jan 15, 2020

Brussels, 15 January 2020: FORATOM welcomes the EU’s goal of providing financial support to coal-dependent regions in order to assist them in their decarbonisation efforts. Indeed, the transition to a low-carbon economy should not come at the detriment to society. Therefore, we fully support EU funds being earmarked to help people transition from jobs in carbon-intensive sectors into low-carbon industries.

That being said, FORATOM regrets the European Commission’s proposal to exclude such funds being used for nuclear power plants. Several reports published over the last 18 months (IPCC, IEA and even the Commission itself) highlight that low-carbon nuclear is an essential component of a low-carbon economy. Actually, at the end of last year, several Member States made it clear that in order to commit to the 2050 decarbonisation targets then they must be allowed to invest in nuclear power.

“The benefits of transitioning workers from the coal into the nuclear industry have already been demonstrated in both France and the UK”, states FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille. “We therefore find it hard to justify such a proposal by the Commission. At the end of the day, the EU should be focusing on helping people in these regions to transition into low-carbon industries. Limiting the low-carbon sectors which will be eligible for such funds will make achieving our low-carbon targets without leaving anyone behind a lot more difficult – if not impossible”.

The European nuclear industry currently sustains more than 1.1 million jobs in the EU and generates more than half a trillion euros in GDP according to a study by Deloitte. Looking ahead to 2050, the authors believe that, on average, the industry would support more than 1.3 million jobs annually and generate €576 billion per year in GDP. This shows that nuclear offers benefits both in terms of decarbonising the power sector and providing European citizens with much needed jobs.

About us: The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, FORATOM represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.

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