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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 18_nov_climate_talks


18 November 2000

commissioner palacio out of line with the council on climate change?

environmental groups call for keeping nuclear power out of kyoto protocol

Today, Climate Network Europe, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Europe, wrote to the Commission and EU member states to express serious concern about the contradictions in the EU positions on climate change which endanger a successful result to the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in The Hague which started today.

During the second week, EU Commission Vice President and Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio will make a presentation on climate policy. Commissioner de Palacio will be assumed by Parties to reflect EU positions accurately. However, there is the distinct possibility that she will declare her support for nuclear energy to combat climate change, including in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), directly contradicting the negotiating position of the EU.

The EU Council reaffirmed its position on November 7 to push for a Kyoto Protocol that does not include nuclear energy. In addition to finding that nuclear energy will not help sustainable energy development, the Council recognises that nuclear is clearly not "clean". As EU Environment Council President Voynet stated following the Council meeting on November 7, "the position of the EU Environment Council is crystal clear on this…nobody wants to exchange the greenhouse effect for a nuclear chain reaction." But, in a press conference on November 7, 2000, Mrs. de Palacio strongly implied that she favours the inclusion of nuclear power in the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. She was reported by Reuters as saying "Nuclear is 'clean' under the Kyoto aims-that's a fact...From my point of view it is very clear and no one can say under a rational and logical approach any different. Under the Kyoto Protocol approach, for me there is no doubt." This simply contradicts the Council's approach.

The joint NGO letter states: “A decades-long debate over environmental and safety concerns have led to rejection of nuclear in the majority of the Union's Member States. Use of alternative sources is growing rapidly across the Union, supported by a Directive on renewable energy. DG Transport and Energy's support for nuclear turns its back on these movements towards development of a safe and sound energy policy.”

In light of these matters, Friends of the Earth Europe, Climate Network Europe and Greenpeace urge the EU delegation to stand firm and ensure that Mrs. de Palacio does not undermine the Council-approved EU position in the climate negotiations.

For further infomation please contact:

Friends of the Earth International, Press Contact: Ian 0044 7887 641344

Friends of the Earth International, Climate Expert: Roda 0044 7712843460

CNE, Climate Expert: Jason 0032 476829931

Announcement Thousands of people from all over Europe, representing their regional and national environmental groups are expected for an action organised by FoE in front of the conference center on Nov. 18 (12:00). They will build a dike around the world leaders, demanding immediate action against global warming. More details  



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