G8 ministers can't buy global security

They must invest in environmental security

Feature story - 11 June, 2002
As G8 foreign ministers were set to discuss schemes to counter nuclear and other security threats, Greenpeace called on them to invest in true security rather than squander billions of dollars on destabilizing the planet.

Diver sampling outflow from French plant that produces MOX fuel.

Greenpeace warned that global security could only be achieved through

sustainable environmental measures coupled with social and financial

justice for all.

A proposed US funding scheme to counter nuclear proliferation and other security threats asks the US and G7 countries (excluding Russia) to contribute $US20 billion over ten years to fund a process that uses plutonium to create mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors.

However this move would threaten both the environment and global security.

Simon Carroll, Greenpeace nuclear and disarmament campaigner said, "Plutonium, like any nuclear material, is inherently unsafe, damaging the environment and human health for generations and creating a product that countries could use to produce nuclear weapons, or could fall into the hands of terrorists."

Greenpeace is also calling on G8 countries to strengthen their efforts to

combat illegal logging, which is being reviewed at the meeting. Many G8 countries, including Canada, France and the UK, continue to import wood products from regions including the Amazon and Liberia where illegal production takes place.

Greenpeace forests campaigner Uta Bellion warned that, "As well as the environmental and social impact of illegal logging, there is clear documentation that forest countries like Liberia use the logging industry as a front for terrorist activities, including funding groups such as Al Qaeda."