German institutional investors are largely in consensus on nuclear power with 89% considering it unsustainable, according to research from Union Investment, an arm of DZ Bank.
While the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities classifies nuclear power as an energy source that can mitigate the impacts of climate change, questions remain over issues such as whether nuclear waste violates the ‘do no significant harm’ principle of the taxonomy.
Further concerns have been raised by the Russian invasion of the Chernobyl fallout site and occupation of the Zaporizhzhia reactors in Ukraine.
André Haagmann, the member of Union Investment’s board of managing directors responsible for institutional clients, said: “Producers of nuclear power have been excluded from our sustainability funds for many years now.
“We are sticking to this assessment because of the catastrophic risks associated with nuclear power plants and the unresolved issue of final storage.”
The issue is divisive across Europe, with France getting more than 70% of its energy from nuclear power, the highest share in the world, while Germany has pledged to shutter its three remaining nuclear power plants, which produce around 5% of its electricity, by the end of the year.
Union Investment surveyed 203 institutional investors in Germany, who are together responsible for managing assets of around €5 trillion, between January and April 2022.
The respondents also showed a greater appetite for sustainable investment overall, with 83% of institutional investors in Germany take sustainability criteria into account in their investment decisions.
The research also showed that the proportion of institutional investors investing sustainably is up by five percentage points on the 2021 Union Investment study and by 18 percentage points on 2018, and is at a record level.
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