Brussels, July 17, 2002 – Today the EU Commission adopted the Communication on Energy Cooperation with the Developing Countries as a contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (WSSD). The Communication includes a highly controversial chapter suggesting that the EU may support nuclear programmes in those countries.

”This is absolutely unacceptable”, says FoE Europe’s Antinuclear Campaigner Patricia Lorenz. ”In times when the international community is fighting the whole range of nuclear threats from unsafe reactors to dirty bombs and nuclear weapons, the Commission has with this paper cleared the way for the EU to support upcoming nuclear programmes in the developing world”.

Patricia Lorenz continues, ”contrary to what the Commission Communication is implying, nuclear safety can never be guaranteed and the risk of proliferation of nuclear material for bomb use by terrorists and state actors is growing. It is very cynical to present the nuclear option as a contribution to the UN-summit in Johannesburg”.

Furthermore, the EU already made clear that nuclear energy is not part of a sustainable development when the EU heads of state and government at the 2001 Gothenburg Summit did not accept the EU Commission’s proposal to include nuclear power in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS).

The Communication on Energy Cooperation with the Developing Countries is also out of step with the international view on nuclear power. Nuclear energy and whether it has a role in sustainable development was hotly debated last year in the international community and consequently, the Johannesburg Draft Plan of Implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development while addressing energy supply in depth – does not even mention nuclear energy.

FoE Europe has stressed to the environment ministers to use this Friday’s informal European Ministerial in Sonderborg in Denmark to make clear that the Commission’s push to spread nuclear power is not the EU’s intention and does not have support of the member states.