Greenpeace: Nuclear energy, a dangerous obstruction to real climate solutions

Feature story - March 31, 2008
Greenpeace activists today put up a huge globe, marked with a nuclear sign, in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok where governments are currently meeting to discuss climate change for the first time after the Bali conference last December.

Greenpeace activists today put up a huge globe, marked with a nuclear sign, in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok where governments are currently meeting to discuss climate change for the first time after the Bali conference last December.

Greenpeace activists today put up a huge globe, marked with a nuclear sign, in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok where governments are currently meeting to discuss climate change for the first time after the Bali conference last December.

The environmental group said that the installation should serve as an urgent reminder for governments to implement real solutions to climate change, andnot be misled by dangerous and false solutions to the climate crisis, especially nuclear power.

"Governments, like the Thai government are wasting taxpayers' money by promoting the dangerous lie that nuclear energy is the answer to climate change and energy insecurity . Aside from the tremendous costs required in constructing nuclear plants, no safe solution has yet been found to the problem of nuclear waste. This whole fixation on a deadly technology is diverting valuable time and resources away from the development of real solutions to our climate and energy challenges," said Thailand campaign manager Tara Buakamsri, of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Like other developing countries, Thailand is both a contributor to the problem and a victim of some of the worst impacts of climate change. Already, storm surges and extreme weather events have wreaked havoc on coastal areas in the  country as well as to its agricultural sector which has seen the worst incidences of drought in recent times. Water scarcity, famine-like conditions and incidents of flooding in various parts of the country have likewise increased.

Meanwhile, the Thai government is using dodgy numbers and projections to paint an exaggerated demand for energy and therefore justify its planned investments in nuclear energy.  For example, electricity regulators have earmarked 1.38 billion baht of taxpayers' money to be used in a costly propaganda effort to promote nuclear power, money that could have been otherwise well spent in the actual installation of clean and renewable energy systems or implementation of  energy efficiency programs in the country.

"The Thai government is deliberately overlooking the potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy in meeting the nation's energy requirements. Neither has it presented  a pro-active climate action plan to protect its vulnerable areas,communities and key sectors from the calamitous impacts of climate change," added Tara.

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