France will reduce its nuclear share, but wants better carbon tax threshold at EU level

13/06/2017 14:35 Nuclear

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French environment and energy minister Nicolas Hulot declared on Monday that the government plans to reduce the share of nuclear to 50% of the country’s power generation from the current 75%. As for the possibility of introducing a carbon tax, Hulot said that France already has a carbon tax which is increasing every year. 

France’s production of nuclear power has continued to fall after a law passed by the government in November last year intended to sustain solar power. The legislation could force EDF, the country’s state-controlled utility, to shut down 18 to 20 of its 58 nuclear reactors by 2025, which is a major policy shift. 

 

The former environment minister, Segolene Royal, in May 2016 proposed to introduce a carbon price floor unilaterally in France at 30 euros ($33) a ton, to encourage broader European action and to cut emissions and move forward the international climate accord, concluded in December 2015 under the auspices of UN. However, the socialist government suspended the plan as trade unions protested over possible coal plant closures.

 

EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy has reiterated that the company wanted a minimum carbon price of between 30 and 40 euros per ton in France and Europe to compete effectively. 

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As UK is preparing to exit European Union, it has planned a domestic nuclear safeguards regime, proving its responsibility of a nuclear state. The withdrawal from Euratom will not lead to poorer safeguards standards and oversight in the nation, as announced by the UK secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

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