Thursday, December 11, 2008

300 NGOs agree - Keep nuclear power out of climate talks

The Low Carbon Kid is not alone! In only one week, over 300 NGOs representing millions of individuals from 50 countries in every corner of the planet signed on to the public appeal to keep the nuclear power option out of the climate talks.

Three dozen environmental leaders from 16 countries braved icy cold weather yesterday morning in front of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Meeting in Poznan, Poland where they called nuclear power “a Mickey Mouse solution” to climate change.

The activists were carrying banners and posters with lively slogans including “Don’t Nuke the Climate,” “No Nuclear Power in The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)” and “Nuclear Power, No Thanks!”

Most were wearing T-shirts with the familiar “Mickey Mouse ears” emblazoned with the radiation symbol.

The activists, representing non-governmental organizations from European countries, Taiwan, South Korea, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, California and elsewhere, announced the release of a global call for the elimination of proposals to include nuclear power as an approved investment for greenhouse gas mitigation in the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC.

Spokespeople from the four organizers of today’s action made their case throughout the morning by talking one-on-one to hundreds of government delegates and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as they entered the conference site for morning sessions.

Speaking to the press, Sabine Bock, coordinator of energy and climate protection for Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) said: “Nuclear energy has proven in the past that it is a threat not only to our health and the environment, but also to human rights.”

“In our work at WECF with local communities,” Bock continued, “we have encountered severe health problems and human rights abuses of populations due to the harmful effects of nuclear energy and radiation.” Bock added: “We can’t understand why governments still promote this dangerous technology rather than taking the opportunity to develop safe and sustainable new, renewable, and clean energy solutions.”

Jan Van de Putte, Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace described nuclear power as an obstacle to effective climate protection saying that money invested in nuclear power is not nearly as effective as money invested in wind power, for example.”

“Nuclear power is a dangerous and dirty energy source – it provides too little energy for mitigation at too slow a pace and at too great a cost.” Van de Putte continued, “the cost per Kwh of nuclear power is double that of wind energy. It just doesn’t make sense to pursue this outdated energy source.”

Vladimir Slivyak, Co-Chair of Ecodefense Russia called upon his national government as well as other delegations, to stop promoting nuclear power into the Kyoto Protocol via provisions for Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism. “78 % of Russians are opposed to nuclear power,” Slivyak said. “We demand that the Russian delegation stop any plans to develop new nuclear plants.” “We further call on all governments to stop new nuclear development.”

Claire Greensfelder, Deputy Director of the International Forum on Globalization of San Francisco, California, said: “Despite year after year of rejection by the state parties to the Convention, the nuclear industry (and a small group of states) continues to promote the economic and public health disaster of nuclear power.” Greensfelder continued: “We also have grave concerns about the health and environmental impacts of increased uranium mining, milling and nuclear waste storage, much of which is on indigenous peoples’ lands, many of whom are opposed to continued nuclear development.” “Indigenous peoples’ right to free prior and informed consent of development on their lands, as established by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, (passed in the UN General Assembly in September 2007), must be taken into consideration.”

Holding a colorful homemade banner proclaiming “No Fishy Nukes!,”, Gloria Hsu, Chair, of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) said: “Using nuclear power for CO2 reduction is the same as drinking some poison to quench your thirst.”

“We have managed thus far to keep nuclear power out of the Kyoto Protocol,” said Peer de Rijk, executive director of World Information Service on Energy (WISE) speaking from Amsterdam. “We will continue to do whatever we can to achieve the same for a much be-needed post Kyoto agreement. Nuclear energy is a deadlock, blocking real solutions. Don’t nuke the climate! »

> the statement on NIRS' website

> A list of the organizational signers on NIRS' website

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