APEC Meeting Darwin

Uranium not the answer for energy security. Australian environment groups unite in call to reject dirty, dangerous nuclear and coal

Media Release: Monday May 28 2007

APEC Meeting Darwin

Uranium not the answer for energy security
Australian environment groups unite in call to reject dirty, dangerous nuclear and coal

Australia’s major environment groups have united on the eve of the APEC Energy Ministers meeting in Darwin tomorrow to call for the rejection of old, dirty, dangerous and unaffordable energy technologies.

The rapid adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies is the best and only way to ensure a truly secure and safe energy future for the world, environment groups said. “After decades of campaigning to get governments and the community to accept and act on climate change, we urge APEC Energy Ministers to  reject the nuclear furphy and act to rapidly implement safe and permanent solutions,” Imogen Zethoven, Nuclear Campaign Coordinator at The Wilderness Society said.

“The Stern report shows that taking action to avoid dangerous climate change will cost less than business as usual and paying the costs of severe climate change. Other reports, recently released, show that we can keep global average temperature rise to below 2C degrees whilst phasing out nuclear power globally. But time is running out and we must take urgent action now to implement large scale energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Environment Centre of the NT campaigner Emma King said: “While there  is a growing understanding that coal-fired power stations are no  longer an acceptable energy source (with ‘clean coal’ a distant, flawed dream), decision makers need to understand that nuclear power is another environmental disaster the use of which is irresponsible and will fail to address the problem. Doubling global nuclear power output by 2050 would reduce greenhouse emissions by no more than 5  per cent.”

If successful, the current nuclear push would divert funds from the real solutions, feed nuclear weapons proliferation, exacerbate the unresolved global radioactive waste management crisis, and create long-term environmental contamination problems at mine sites across  the planet.

“Rather then being necessary for security, nuclear power is the only energy source with a direct and repeatedly-demonstrated connection to  the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Friends of the  Earth’s Dr Jim Green said. “For example, North Korea used its  "Experimental Power Reactor" to produce plutonium for its October 2006 bomb test.”

If the real solutions are implemented, renewable energy costs will  fall [1], greenhouse gas emissions will drop rapidly, and communities will take more responsibility for both the generation and use of  electricity.

Going nuclear to address global warming is like taking up smoking as  a weight-loss remedy.

Greenpeace, ECNT and other community members will be taking our  message to the APEC Forum at Parliament House, Darwin from 2pm today (photo opportunity) and from 8am tomorrow (protest).

For comment:

The Wilderness Society – Imogen Zethoven 0406 382 378

Friends of the Earth – Dr Jim  Green  0417 318 368

Environment Centre of the NT - Emma King 0428 818 109

Greenpeace – Dan  Cass  0408  468 488

Australian Conservation Foundation – Dave Sweeney  0408 317 812

Arid Lands Environment Centre – Karissa Preuss  08  8952 2497

[1] For example, a new assessment by the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Prometheus Institute in Cambridge, 
Massachusetts estimates that solar energy costs will drop by 40% by 2010.