German parliament votes to phase-out nuclear energy

Feature story - June 30, 2011
The German parliament has voted overwhelmingly to phase out all nuclear plants by 2022.

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The vote calls for  the immediate shutting down of eight nuclear power stations and a gradual shut down of the remaining nine reactors.

The German parliament’s decision to get rid of nuclear power is the only rational conclusion after the lessons of the Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear disasters.  The decision shows Germany’s determination to further boost renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to meet the nation’s energy needs.

Germany has been a global powerhouse for the development of safe energy for a long time. Germany has played a major role in first commercialising modern wind power and now solar power.

Germany, the world’s 4th largest economy, is showing vision and leadership which is good news for the global climate and for the development and access to safe and clean energy all over the world.

The Germany decision sends a clear message to other governments that nuclear technology is inherently dangerous, uncontrollable and unsustainable and should not be replaced with fossil fuels which are unecessary when renewable energy and increased efficiency is the smart energy choice of the future.

With 370,000 people already employed by Germany’s renewable energy industry, the sector’s economic growth and job security of the green energy sector should provide an inspiration for other countries.

Along with the phase-out decision, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s government today reaffirmed its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2020 with a 23 per cent reduction  between 2010 and 2020. The target is more ambitious than the EU as a whole.

The German government aims to double the share of renewable electricity from 17 to 35 per cent by 2020.

Greenpeace and renewable energy producers have called for a tripling to 50 percent which would allow the government to phase out nuclear energy even faster.

Learn more about the Greenpeace nuclear campaign in a Canada.

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