Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Young European Greens Oppose Return of Nuclear Power

The following is a news release from FYEG - the Federation on Young European Greens.

The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) participated last weekend in the celebrations (in Rome) of 20 years without nuclear energy in the transalpine country of Italy. The event, organized by Giovani Verdi (Italian Young Greens) was supported by more than 10.000 people from all over the country and by activists coming from different countries in Europe.

Marina Barbalata, Spokesperson of FYEG, comments: “In 1987, Italy voted against the use of nuclear energy sources. 20 years later, opinion polls and the high level of mobilisation in last weekends’ demonstrations show that Italian citizens’ strong feelings against atomic energy have not changed. Hence, there is no point in trying to re-open the debate and if that appears to happen it is merely due to powerful economic interests that do not care of neither public opinion nor citizens’ safety. Furthermore, it is cynical and thus unacceptable that nuclear lobbies use climate change as a pretext for the use of atomic energy. It is a fact that we are not speaking at all about a clean energy source, especially considering the risks of a catastrophe and abuse for criminal purposes. The fact is that so far there are no solutions for the safe disposal of radioactive waste, let alone the menace it poses in terms of potential atomic weapons proliferation. Assuming nuclear energy is the solution for climate change is similar to putting a patch to an open wound – it will turn an existing problem into an even bigger one.”

Rafi Korn, National coordinator of Giovani Verdi and Project Coordinator of FYEG, shows his satisfaction to the positive response to the event. However, he underlines: “Climate change and nuclear energy are both global threats and therefore we must take a global approach to both. We can not just adopt the Nimby attitude (Not in my backyard), and pretend that it is all over when we have accomplished having our nearest region free of nuclear power plants. Moving power plants to Eastern Europe under the camouflage of an economic injection towards development, as illustrated by the cases of the Mochovce and Belene power plants in Slovakia and Bulgaria, is not the solution. In order to be completely safe from the nuclear threat, a worldwide ban is required.”

Marc Giménez, Campaign Coordinator of FYEG, also points out: “There are economic and political aspects in addition to the social and ecological criteria that cannot be overlooked when talking about nuclear and energy policies in the EU in general. First of all, nuclear power plants can only provide around 15% of the EU’s energy demand, thus it is in no case a complete solution, but a merely partial one. Therefore, the risks taken by using atomic energy are unjustified in comparison to the solutions it provides. Moreover, it does not solve the external dependence on raw materials. There is little uranium found on EU territory and the uranium resources on the Globe are concentrated in specific regions. This can very well lead to future geopolitical tensions, as oil and gas resources cause today. Renewable energies on the other hand are unlimited and there is plenty of accessibility to them. Thus, it is clear that renewables are the only sustainable energy form of the future.”

For images of the Rome demonstration:

FYEG is currently running a campaign against climate change and the fight against a nuclear renaissance is one of the major issues covered

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