Japan’s announcement that it is committing to phase out nuclear energy by 2030 and increase renewable energy by 30% is very welcome news – and another wake-up call for the South African government.
Japan now joins countries like Germany and Switzerland who have also recently turned away from nuclear power.
“We urge the South African government to demonstrate similar leadership, canceling its nuclear plans and embracing renewable energy”, said Ferrial Adam Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaigner.
“It’s time our government stops wasting its efforts on outdated and risky technologies, while keeping an emerging Renewable Energy industry caged up, at huge economic costs to all South Africans” added Adam.
Japan was the third-biggest user of atomic energy before the Fukushima Daiichi disaster and had planned to rely on nuclear power for 50% of its power needs by 2030. But since the Fukushima disaster, 48 of 50 reactors in Japan have been taken offline, and public opposition to nuclear power has continued to grow.
“The debate and discussion around nuclear expansion must be opened to all citizens of our country and not done in secret behind closed doors, as is currently the case.”
Our Advanced Energy [R]evolution is a road map for how South Africa can make a just transition away from fossil fuels, towards renewable energy, and it shows how almost half of the country's electricity can be produced from renewable sources by 2030, increasing to 94% by 2050.
“A nuclear-free future is not a choice, it’s an inevitability. Japan's step to eliminate nuclear energy sends a message to other countries that it is time to end the use of this dangerous technology once and for all,” Adam added.