What will the European struggle for a peaceful atom result in?
МОСКВА, 19 октября 2021, Институт РУССТРАТ.
In the light of high European electricity prices, which directly hit the pockets of voters, optimistic prospects appear in the EU agreement on a “Green Deal” for nuclear energy. However, this situation contradicts the concepts promoted by the leadership of the IEF, the UN and international bankers.
The struggle for the inclusion of nuclear energy in the “green list” of activities favourable to the EU climate agenda flared up in 2019. Back then the EU Commission and representatives of the financial industry proposed to classify the system of green investments across the EU – this was called a taxonomy. Thus, it became easier to invest in “green energy”, and areas that did not meet the requirements of the climate agenda became more expensive.
In 2019, France managed to ensure that the European Commission allowed nuclear energy to be considered under the taxonomy, although Germany was unequivocally opposed to it. In April 2021, the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the EU determined that nuclear energy should be classified in the green investment system. On June 30, a group of five EU Member States (Germany, Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain) sent a letter to the European Commission with a request to exclude nuclear energy from the EU’s “green financing” taxonomy.
“We were discouraged to learn that, according to JRC, there was no indication that the high-risk technology, which is nuclear power, causes more damage to human health and the environment than other forms of energy production, such as wind and solar energy,” the ministers of the five countries wrote.
On October 11, France, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania sent a letter to the European Commission asking to include nuclear energy in the list of industries contributing to environmental harm reduction.
The authors wrote that nuclear power is a “key, affordable, stable and independent source of energy” that can protect EU consumers suffering from the rapid rise in energy prices from further “effects of price volatility”. It should be noted here that Paris is the main master of this idea: in France, nuclear generation accounts for 70%, and its share in the energy balance of the entire EU is 26%, and thus the French create a market for the “Areva” company (which builds and operates nuclear power plants).
The European Commission has not yet announced a final decision, but on October 15, the first Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, responsible for the “Green Deal”, advised Bulgaria to stop coal mining and said that the EU would assist in the resumption of the previous nuclear power plant project in Belen.
Without waiting for the decision of the European Commission, French President Emmanuel Macron, as part of the electoral program, presented the France 2030 plan for $35 billion, where one of the foundations is nuclear energy. Without departing from the topic of France, it should be said that Rosatom has signed an agreement with the French company “Orano” on the supply of regenerated uranium for the needs of the Russian nuclear industry, which will save the strategic reserve of natural uranium.
This news contrasts very much with the situation we experienced last year, when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia protested against the commissioning of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. It should be recalled that in 2004, in order for Lithuania to join the EU, Brussels set a condition for Vilnius to abandon the Ignalina nuclear power plant, which it did by becoming an importer of electricity.
In addition, such a trend for nuclear energy does not fit into the theses on the development of clean “green energy”, which could be heard from the mouth of the head of the International Economic Forum Klaus Schwab and the forecasts of the International Energy Agency at the United Nations. In the plan of the IEA for the transition to global carbon neutrality it is said that although investments in nuclear energy may grow, but its share in global generation will be about 10-15%, and even it will be at the expense of China, and the main part will be occupied by renewable energy sources.
On the eve of the 26th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bank of America analyst Eric Lopez published a study stating that in order for the world to achieve carbon neutrality over the next 30 years, $5 trillion of investments will be required annually – in total, this is $150 trillion. Such injections will definitely entail additional inflation – 3% per year. In addition, about 5% – which is approximately $2.3 trillion of the value of the global stock market, can be destroyed by a reassessment of climate policy – ESG.
The ESG policy that Western financial organisations are already being guided by is understood as “environmental, social and corporate governance”. It is determined not by the UN or the EU, but by independent research agencies – Bloomberg, S&P Dow Jones Indices, JUST Capital, MSCI, Refinitiv and other, mainly American firms. As part of the ESG policy, they assign a rating to other companies and for those who do not meet the “green agenda” it will be more difficult and more expensive to get loans.
Thus, Bank of America, without hesitation, hints that the world will have to spend money and endure the inconvenience associated with a drop in living standards during the transition to carbon neutrality.
Of course, here we recall the speech of US President Joe Biden at the session of the UN General Assembly, where he said that investments to achieve climate goals are a chance to invest into the future and a great opportunity to create well-paid jobs. The US is going to increase funding in the framework of assistance to developing countries to mitigate the impact of climate change.
I think it is clear to many that behind these words lies a desire to lend to developing countries for the purchase of American “green energy” technologies.
No wonder Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the international forum “Russian Energy Week”, stressed that when pursuing the goals of the climate agenda, speculation and the presence of someone’s desires to achieve competitive advantages are possible.
However, in the US, apparently, a turning point is also coming. According to three sources of the New York Times, due to the principled nature of the head of the Senate Energy Committee Joe Manchin (Democrat), direct public investments in green energy are cut out of the $3.5 trillion “social infrastructure plan” and only tax benefits remain. All of this may well be true, since for the “progressives” from the Democratic Party, this plan is probably the only chance to change the social structure of America, and for this they will partially sacrifice the “green agenda”.
How events will develop further, we will soon find out. However, if reason wins over greed in the West, then new prospects open up for Russia, given its exclusive competence in the field of nuclear energy and the ability to implement a closed nuclear fuel cycle.