Nuclear not excluded after 2012 in Kyoto Mechanisms Directive

On 7 April – after three weeks of intensive negotiations – the European Council and European Parliament reached an agreement on the Kyoto Mechanisms Directive. (This Directive is a so-called ‘Linking Directive’, i.e. it links the Kyoto Protocol to EU legislation.) The final proposal only excludes nuclear energy projects during the 2008-2012 commitment period.

The new law is expected to help European industry to make earlier use of the Kyoto flexible mechanisms: Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). JI allows EU member states and industries to reach part of the Kyoto targets by investing in greenhouse reduction projects in other industrialised countries or countries with economies in transition. CDM enables Kyoto commitments to be met through projects in developing countries by capacity building and technology transfers.

Under the new law, nuclear energy projects will not qualify for JI or CDM greenhouse gas emissions credits during the 2008-2012 commitment period (in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakech Accords).

The European Parliament will vote on the final proposal for the Kyoto Mechanisms Directive on 21 April 2004 at its plenary session in Strasbourg, France. With an agreement in place, parliamentary approval of the proposal is likely. The European Council is expected to formally endorse the proposal on 17-18 May 2004. The new law will enter into force before the EU emission trading scheme starts next year (1 January 2005).

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