Legal Alert | Nuclear power and natural gas – criteria for classifying activities as environmentally sustainable and new information obligations | Updated alert from 7 April 2022

We present an updated version of the alert published in April this year, where we explain the changes resulting from the adopted regulation that expands the catalogue of activities that can be qualified as environmentally sustainable, and the information obligations covering such qualified entrepreneurs.


The Delegated Regulation introduces changes to the so-called taxonomy, i.e. the criteria to qualify an economic activity as environmentally sustainable regarding the nuclear and natural gas sectors. The draft also introduces new information obligations.

The taxonomy gains increasing importance due to, i.a. the policies of funding institutions excluding support for activities that qualify under the taxonomy as high-emission while making it easier to obtain funding for environmentally sustainable activities.

The Delegated Regulation supplements existing regulations for one of the three kinds of environmentally sustainable activities,
i.e. transitional activity, including investments in nuclear power and natural gas. Transitional activities include producing cement, aluminum, iron and steel, and plastics in primary forms; retrofitting inland waterway passenger and freight transport; renovating existing buildings; and data processing or hosting.

The obligations of the financial sector and other entrepreneurs are related to the taxonomy:

  1. a) Financial sector entrepreneurs must disclose:
  • information on their environmental objectives; and
  • a description of how and to what extent an investment qualifies as environmentally sustainable (by way of a percentage figure); and
  1. b) Other entrepreneurs must disclose:
  • the percentage of turnover derived from products or services related to environmentally sustainable activities; and
  • the percentage of capital expenditures and operational expenditure corresponding to the assets or processes associated with environmentally sustainable activity.

The change in the material scope of environmentally sustainable activities in the nuclear and gas sectors will change entrepreneurs’ obligations. It will be necessary to verify the scope of the information disclosed and statements made.

The Delegated Regulation extends the catalogue of economic transitional activities to include certain nuclear and natural gas activities by introducing technical eligibility criteria.

Due to the diversified structure of energy production (the dominance of high-carbon sources), achieving climate neutrality requires investment in low-carbon fuels (nuclear and natural gas) during the transitional period. The regulation indicates that investments in nuclear energy will be needed throughout the period until 2050 and beyond. The technical eligibility criteria will be reviewed to use the technology that is most capable for reducing energy-system emissions. Concrete dates for the periodic review of these criteria have not been specified yet.


The following nuclear activities will be recognised as sustainable:

  • the pre-commercial stages of advanced technologies to produce nuclear energy;
  • the construction and safe operation of new nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity or heat, including for hydrogen production and
  • electricity generation from nuclear energy in existing installations.

The following natural gas activities will be recognised as sustainable:

  • electricity generation from fossil gaseous fuels;
  • the high-efficiency co-generation of heat or cool and power from fossil gaseous fuels and
  • the production of heat or cool from fossil gaseous fuels in an efficient district heating and cooling system.


Financial sector undertakings as well as others are obliged to disclose the amount and share of nuclear and natural gas activities, i.e.: taxonomy-aligned; taxonomy-eligible, but not taxonomy-aligned; and taxonomy non-eligible. Information in this regard should be submitted using the templates in Annex 12 to the Regulation.


The Delegated Regulation entered into force on 4 August and will apply directly to all Member States from 1 January 2023.

Download the PDF version here