According to research from Union Investment, a division of DZ Bank, German institutional investors are largely in agreement on nuclear power, with 89 percent believing it is unsustainable.
While the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities classifies nuclear power as a source of energy that can help mitigate the effects of climate change, questions remain about whether nuclear waste violates the taxonomy's 'do no significant harm' principle.
The Russian invasion of the Chernobyl fallout site and occupation of the Zaporizhzhia reactors in Ukraine have raised additional concerns.
"Producers of nuclear power have been excluded from our sustainability funds for many years now," said André Haagmann, a member of Union Investment's board of managing directors responsible for institutional clients.
"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, and Germany vowing to close its three remaining nuclear power plants, which produce about 5% of the country's electricity, by the end of the year.
Between January and April 2022, Union Investment surveyed 203 institutional investors in Germany who are collectively responsible for managing assets worth around €5 trillion.
Overall, the respondents showed a higher appetite for sustainable investment, with 83 percent of institutional investors in Germany considering sustainability criteria when making investment decisions.
The study also revealed that the proportion of institutional investors who invest sustainably has increased by five percentage points since the Union Investment study in 2021 and by 18 percentage points since 2018, reaching a new high.
By fLEXI tEAM