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September 29, 2022

Regulatory Round-up: Korea adds nuclear to taxonomy, UK pensions regulator warns schemes about diversity data

Korea’s environment ministry has included nuclear power in the first draft of the country’s green taxonomy, reversing the position of the previous administration. A final version of the taxonomy is expected by the end of the year. From 2031, plants will need to use accident resistant fuels. Under the EU taxonomy, these are to be used from 2025.

“The inclusion of nuclear activities in the Korean taxonomy will serve as an opportunity to raise the safety and environmental impact assessment of nuclear energy,” said minister Han Wha-jin, as reported by Korea JoongAng Daily. “Through the uses of both renewable and nuclear energy, we expect a realization of carbon neutrality by 2050.”  

The Pensions Regulator, which oversees the UK’s workplace pensions, has found that only 10 per cent of defined benefit schemes and 14 per cent of defined contribution schemes have been collecting any trustee diversity data. Out of all schemes that collect diversity data, says the TPR, more than one-third have no intention of using them, as reported by Sustainable Views’s sister title Pensions Expert. 

The UK government has published its first report on how funds from green bonds are being spent, revealing that railways and flood defences have received the lion’s share, while international climate funding has been reduced.

The UK Green Financing Allocation report shows that between April 2021 and March 2022, the government had allocated £8.39bn of the total £16.1bn it had raised through green bonds. The bonds – which the report hail as a key pillar of the government’s green finance agenda – came mainly from sovereign bonds, with a small input from the new retail green savings bonds that went on sale last October, though which savers can choose to invest in green projects.

The European Commission has proposed to prohibit products on the EU market that have been made with forced labour. National authorities will be able to withdraw any products made with forced labour from the EU market while customs authorities will also be able to identify and stop such products at EU borders.

The proposal does not target specific companies or industries but covers all products, particularly those made in the EU for domestic consumption and exports, and ties in with an earlier recommendation by the European Parliament.

A service from the Financial Times