Ban nuclear from Paris talks, green groups urge
An international coalition of clean energy groups have launched a new campaign asking for the nuclear power industry to be barred from the UN climate talks in Paris.
The Don’t Nuke The Climate campaign is being led by the Netherland’s World Information Service on Energy (WISE), and supported by green groups from Germany, Russia, France, Austria and the US.
WISE director Peer de Rijk explained: “We are calling on 1,000 civil society organisations to join us for a campaign to block the nuclear industry’s lobby activities at COP21 and instead ensure the world chooses clean energy. It is the only real climate solution.”
Under the Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But de Rijk claims the industry is “in collaboration with certain nations, lobbying for their dangerous and polluting technology to be sold as a climate-friendly option during the Climate COP21”.
As an initial step for the campaign, the organising groups today launched an international petition, designed to lobby world leaders in support of nuclear-free clean energy.
The coalition is also planning a “mass demonstration” in Paris on the 12 December, in the midst of the UN conference.
“Nuclear power is in no way a climate solution,” said Michael Mariotte, the president of the US-based Nuclear Information and Resource Service, which is part of the campaign.
“Nuclear power remains dirty, dangerous and expensive; is not carbon-free; and encourages nuclear proliferation.”
No UK groups have yet joined the campaign, but the technology remains divisive.
According to the World Nuclear Association, the UK currently has 16 reactors generating about 18% of its electricity and all but one of these will be retired by 2023.
Three new generation plants – including the station at Hinkley Point – are expected to start coming online in 2023, with an estimated 19GW of capacity.
Green groups called the planning approval for the Hinkley power plant a “world record sell-out” and a “shocking decision”, but Circular Ecology’s Dr Craig Jones warned that nuclear provided valuable electricity to the UK, and if it was abandoned, the void would likely be filled by coal and gas.
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