G8 ministers can´t buy global security – they must invest in environmental security

Press release - 11 June, 2002

No to nuclear

Greenpeace today called on the G8

Foreign Ministers to invest in true security rather than squander billions

of dollars on destabilizing the planet. The international environmental

group warned that global security could only be achieved through

sustainable environmental measures coupled with social and financial

justice for all.

The G8 will discuss a US proposed funding scheme to counter nuclear

proliferation and other security threats. Under the plan, the United

States and the G7 countries (excluding Russia) will contribute $20 billion

(US) over ten years to fund a process that uses plutonium to create

mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors - threatening both the

environment and global security.

"This is a fatally flawed, short-term view that generates far more global

insecurity. 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," said Greenpeace´s

international nuclear and disarmament specialist Simon Carroll "In

the run up to the Johannesburg Earth Summit, the US is blocking all

commitments to provide funding for real security, wasting 10 billion they

could spend on sustainable development, alleviating poverty and

combating climate change." Carroll added.

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

combat illegal logging, which is being reviewed at the meeting. Many of

the 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. Not only does illegal logging

degrade the environment and devastate the lives of the people and

creatures that depend on the forests for survival, it also has a major

impact on global security.

"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," said Uta Bellion, Greenpeace´s international forests

campaign coordinator. "The G8 has a responsibility to ensure this

destructive trade is stopped."