Greenpeace is critical of the recent energy blueprint for
tackling climate change published by the World Energy Council, the
organisers of the triennial congress. The blueprint sees greenhouse
gas emissions peaking by as late as 2030 before decreasing. It also
proposes an expansion in nuclear power.
Greenpeace warns that expanding nuclear power capacity
undermines solutions to climate change by diverting financial
resources away from urgently needed investments in clean, renewable
energy and improvements in energy efficiency. The environmental
organisation wants a global phase out of nuclear power on grounds
of cost, the lengthy construction periods and hazards it creates,
ranging from the unsolved problem of nuclear waste through to the
threat to international security.
"We have less than a decade to halt and reverse the trend of
growing emissions of greenhouse gases if we are to head-off the
worst impacts of climate change," said Jan Beranek, nuclear
campaigner at Greenpeace International, referring to recent
scientific warnings on global warming.
The costs of doubling the number of nuclear reactors around the
world could exceed one thousand billion dollars, says Greenpeace.
Yet such a move would fail to achieve any significant reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, investments need to go into
increasing renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency.
"It is time for a true energy revolution not the failed 'Alice
in Wonderland' nuclear dream of 'power too cheap to meter'," said
Greenpeace's own 'Energy Revolution' scenario is a blueprint for
preventing climate change from reaching catastrophic proportions.
Produced in conjunction with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and
the European Renewable Energy Council, the scenario shows that
reliance on existing energy technologies can halve global
greenhouse emissions while simultaneously phasing out nuclear
energy. This would compromise neither sustained economic growth nor
fair access to energy for people in developing countries.
Despite abandoning nuclear power following a national referendum
20 years ago, Italy, via the utility ENEL, is engaged in completing
the Mochovce nuclear reactor, in Slovakia, which was designed in
the 1970s and lacks crucial safety systems introduced elsewhere
following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The Italian Government is
the leading shareholder in ENEL.
"Instead of investing in old risky Soviet-era reactors in
Slovakia, the Italian utility ENEL should be turning its attention
to sustainable and safe energy," said Francesco Tedesco, energy
campaigner of Greenpeace Italy.
"The Italian government has been talking a lot. But as the
leading shareholder in ENEL it needs to demonstrate practical
progress in clean energy," added Tedesco.
"Nuclear power concerns, such as Areva, EdF and ENEL who are
sponsoring this congress, are desperate to show they are still
relevant. They have become a dangerous distraction," said Jan
Beranek. "Forget talk of a 'nuclear renaissance', if there ever was
such a thing as a nuclear era, it has long ago been consigned to
the rubbish bin of history," he added.
Contacts (media only please)
- Jan Beranek, Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner. Tel:
+31 6 5110 9558
- Francesco Tedesco, Greenpeace Italy energy campaigner. Tel:
+39 34 0085 6944
- Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU Unit, expert on nuclear energy.
Tel: +32 47 779 0416
- Oscar Soria, Greenpeace International Communications. Tel:
- Vittoria Iacovella, Greenpeace Italy Media Officer. Tel:
- Photos and video of Greenpeace's intervention available:
Massimo Guidi, Greenpeace Italy. Tel: +39 32 8064 6175
Notes: A briefing on why nuclear power undermines solutions to climate change is available online at: www.greenpeace.org/nuclear-climate-brief
Exp. contact date: 2007-11-20 00:00:00