Nuclear Power: Carbon Emissions

Treasury written question – answered on 26th July 2021.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will review the exclusion of nuclear energy from the Green Financing Framework with respect to the (a) inclusion in the International Capital Markets Association Green Bonds Principles of nuclear energy and (b) exclusion of nuclear energy from the Government’s Green Financing Framework which has been developed in accordance with the former principles.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The government recognises that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 will require power to be generated from low carbon sources. As set out in the Government’s Energy White Paper last autumn, nuclear power will play an important role in achieving net zero.

Nuclear energy is excluded from the UK Government Green Financing Framework, which is in line with current international market standards for sovereign green bonds. The Green Bond Principles published by the International Capital Market Association do not address the question of nuclear energy. All other major sovereigns have explicitly excluded nuclear energy in their green bond frameworks.

The Government is developing a UK green taxonomy, which will create a shared understanding of which economic activities count as environmentally sustainable and will establish an Energy Working Group to provide expert advice on the treatment of energy in the taxonomy, including nuclear power.

We will review the framework on a regular basis with the aim of adhering to best practices in the market.

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