Having made significant investments in nuclear energy over the past year and a half (including C$27.2 million announced just last week), the Canadian government bewildered nuclear advocates earlier this month with its Green Bond Framework.
Released on March 3, the framework specifically excludes nuclear energy, along with the transportation, exploration, and production of fossil fuels, arms manufacturing, gambling, the manufacture and production of tobacco products, and the manufacture and production of alcoholic beverages.
In a March 21 news release, the government announced its plan to issue its inaugural Canadian-dollar-denominated green bond this week, subject to market conditions. According to the release, “The inaugural green bond—the first of many such issuances—will create new financing opportunities that will speed up projects ranging from green infrastructure to nature conservancy, while also growing Canada’s economy and creating new, good-paying jobs across the country.”
The mobilization of capital, the release noted, “will be crucial to Canada meeting both its 2030 emissions reduction target and its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Nuclear reactions: “We have been, quite frankly, blindsided by the release of the green bond, because there was no consultation with the nuclear, or any, industry,” said John Gorman, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Nuclear Association, in a March 22 Reuters report. “Canada has lost another incredible opportunity to demonstrate global leadership here by excluding the nuclear industry in the green bond framework. It’s very disappointing.”
And in a March 16 tweet, the Canadian Nuclear Workers’ Council called on the government to reverse its decision on nuclear energy, saying, “This exclusion was not based on science. It was arbitrary and made without consultation. We can’t reach net zero without nuclear.”
The tweet also linked to a petition—initiated by Corey Tochor, a Conservative member of the Canadian Parliament—to include nuclear within the framework. At this writing, the petition has 7,822 signatures.