Friday, December 12, 2008

NGO's Say No to Nuclear Power

Poznan, Poland. Three dozen environmental leaders from 16 countries braved icy cold weather on Wednesday morning in front of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Meeting in Poznan, Poland where they called nuclear power "a Mickey Mouse solution" to climate change. The activists were carrying banners and posters with lively slogans including "Don't Nuke the Climate," "No Nuclear Power in The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)" and "Nuclear Power, No Thanks!"

Most were wearing t-shirts with the familiar "Mickey Mouse ears" emblazoned with the radiation symbol. The activists, representing non-governmental organizations from nearby European countries and from as far away as Taiwan, South Korea, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and California, announced the release of a global call for the elimination of proposals to include nuclear power as an approved investment for greenhouse gas mitigation in the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC.

In only one week, over 300 NGOs representing millions of individuals from 50 countries in every corner of the planet signed on to the public appeal to keep the nuclear power option out of the climate talks.

Spokespeople from the four organizers of today's action made their case throughout the morning by talking one-on-one to hundreds of government delegates and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as they entered the conference site for morning sessions.

Speaking to the press, Sabine Bock, coordinator of energy and climate protection for Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) said: "Nuclear energy has proven in the past that it is a threat not only to our health and the environment, but also to human rights."

"In our work at WECF with local communities," Bock continued, "we have encountered severe health problems and human rights abuses of populations due to the harmful effects of nuclear energy and radiation." Bock added: "We can't understand why governments still promote this dangerous technology rather than taking the opportunity to develop safe and sustainable new, renewable, and clean energy solutions."

Jan Van de Putte, Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace described nuclear power as an obstacle to effective climate protection saying that money invested in nuclear power is not nearly as effective as money invested in wind power, for example."

"Nuclear power is a dangerous and dirty energy source - it provides too little energy for mitigation at too slow a pace and at too great a cost." Van de Putte continued, "the cost per Kwh of nuclear power is double that of wind energy. It just doesn't make sense to pursue this outdated energy source."

Vladimir Slivyak, Co-Chair of Ecodefense Russia, called upon his national government as well as other delegations to stop promoting nuclear power into the Kyoto Protocol via provisions for Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism. "78 % of Russians are opposed to nuclear power," Slivyak said. "We demand that the Russian delegation stop any plans to develop new nuclear plants." "We further call on all governments to stop new nuclear development."

Claire Greensfelder, Deputy Director of the International Forum on Globalization of San Francisco, California, said: "Despite year after year of rejection by the state parties to the Convention, the nuclear industry (and a small group of states) continues to promote the economic and public health disaster of nuclear power."

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