No compromise to combat climate change

A Green Party Nuclear Energy Policy fit for the 21st Century

Greens For Nuclear Energy seek to influence the Green movement’s key organisations and institutions to favour nuclear energy. We need every available low carbon power source to combat catastrophic climate change. Our first campaign is to change the Green Party’s policy (England & Wales), which is currently:

EN014: Nuclear power, coal and incineration of waste will be phased out

We believe that the increasingly urgent need to deal decisively with our emerging climate crisis makes continued opposition to nuclear energy irrational for environmentalists and reduces our chances of averting a climate catastrophe.

We therefore oppose the early decommissioning of existing nuclear reactors, unless it can be shown that continued use of any given plant is a present threat to human life, the environment or property.

We support the research and development of new advanced nuclear power technologies and the continued use of existing nuclear power plants until each power plant reaches end-of-life.

We are pro-renewables and strongly advocate for their deployment where topography, geography and climate permit, where a positive local environmental case is made and where there is no consequent reliance on the burning of Fossil Fuels.

We therefore respectfully urge our fellow Green Party members to approach the nuclear power debate with an open mind and not fall victim to the ‘easy way out’ of dogmatic, hard-wired anti-nuclear ideology.

Our aim is to advocate for and promote clean, safe, reliable nuclear power within the party until we reach critical mass and succeed in bringing a motion at conference to amend Green Party clause EN014, to adopt nuclear power as part of an ambitious new Green Party clean energy policy that is fit for the 21st Century.

How it begins…

There are a wide variety of opinions on Nuclear Energy in the Green Party.

Many members remain strongly ‘anti-nuclear’ and many are simply unsure – not equipped with enough information to feel they can make a decision that they’d be willing to stick their necks out for. An increasing number though are reconsidering their position – most particularly in the context of the sheer magnitude of our Climate Crisis. These are members who recognise the contribution that Nuclear Energy can make – alongside renewables – to rapidly reducing our carbon emissions from not only electricity generation, but across a wide range of sectors.

Some of us are firmly and unequivocally in favour. Some of us say yes – perhaps even through gritted teeth – simply because we recognise that there can be NO compromise to combat climate change. Others are on the fence but becoming simply #NuclearCurious

 

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What the scientists say…

 

Professor Gerry Thomas – Imperial College London

I can understand that people may be nervous about nuclear power.  I was too, until I started working on the health effects of the Chernobyl accident.  Now, 35 years later, we can say that the only health effect caused directly by exposure of the population leaving near the site of the Chernobyl accident has been an increase in thyroid cancer in those who were children at the time of the...

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Kerry A. Emanuel

As a climate scientist who daily confronts the unacceptable risks associated with anthropogenic climate change, I believe the welfare of civilization depends on the rapid development and deployment of economical, carbon-free energy, perhaps supplemented by carbon capture technologies. It is important to understand that this is not merely a question of decarbonizing existing energy...

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James Hansen, PhD & Pushker Kharecha, PhD

As concerned climate scientists, we have published and lectured extensively on the scale and urgency of the human-caused climate crisis and the remedies needed for it. One key finding from our work is that the world will need all available non-fossil energy sources -- nuclear energy as well as renewables -- to be scaled up during the next few decades as fossil fuel emissions are...

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Francois-Marie Breon

Climate change is now on us and there is a very urgent need to take actions to stabilize the warming to an acceptable level.  The 1.5° target that was set 5 years ago during the Paris conference is probably out of reach, and the same fate is likely for the 2° target given our incapacity to take the right measures.About 20 years ago, during the Earth summit conference at Johannesburg,...

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Opinion on Nuclear Energy from members of the Green Party

 

Josh Stringfellow – Kingston Green Party

As Greens we trust the science on climate change. As Greens we should also trust the science on nuclear, that it’s safe, clean, reliable, and a key tool in our fight to avert the worst of the unfolding climate crisis. Josh Stringfellow – Kingston Green Party

Andy Lancelot – Ynys Môn, Cymru

As a kid I was moved by the writings of James Lovelock. At 57 I am now completely convinced that the way humans currently organise themselves en masse is contra-indicated to the well-being of the planet. If we continue along this path WE are the ones who will be destroyed, not the planet. I think the Earth will recover after we’re gone, but while we’re here we should seek to understand it’s systems, respect them and try to live in harmony with the natural means. Deriving energy from nuclear or hydrogen I see as a ‘good hack’ if the method by which it is achieved fits in with nature’s way....

Peter Vaughan – East Devon Green Party

"I first became interested in Nuclear Power in the early 1970s. At the time concern was being expressed about shortages of fossil fuel. However there was optimism that any energy shortage could be over come by increasing the number of Nuclear Power stations. Sadly this did not happen, partly as a result of protests from environmentalists and other anti-nuclear campaigners. At that time climate change was not a topic concerning the public. It is a sobering thought to consider what the effect on atmospheric green house gas levels would have been if the world had continued to replace fossil...

Francis Moore, London

The more I learn about nuclear energy, the more I am convinced that the long-established and well-meaning traditional Green stance against it is a deeply mistaken and self-defeating one. In the all-encompassing climate emergency the world faces, renewables and nuclear need to be seen as partners working together to address the crisis. We cannot let the perfect become the enemy of the good when our house is on fire - time is of the essence and nuclear energy gives us a way out of our fossil fuel dependency. Francis Moore, London

Cllr Dave Plummer

“Like many people in the green movement there are things that I've always taken for granted, things which seemed fundamental, things which I accepted as true without really looking into them, things which are widely accepted as core tenets for environmentalists. One of those things was opposing nuclear energy. I don't think many, if any, Green Party members would choose nuclear energy over wind, solar, tidal, wave and other renewable energy sources. However, we don't have the luxury of waiting for those. It's time for us to have a serious, informed discussion about nuclear energy and its...

Mark Bray-Parry – Guildford

We are in a climate emergency, so let's start with dispensing with the financial arguments for a moment and ask ourselves if gambling on a 100% renewable energy solution that requires further technological advancement is worth the risk? Nuclear energy has the potential to transform our energy production from one reliant on fossil fuels and imports to a low carbon exporting asset worth billions. Furthermore, the value of nuclear power to industry is enormous, from being a global lead in green steel, to production of hydrogen for transport sector, to supply of radioisotopes for the medical...

Duncan Roy – Lewes

Renewables cannot supply the base load because they are all, in this country, unpredictable and intermittent. They don’t work when the wind won’t blow and the sun don’t shine. Therefore, something else is needed. Something reliable. We need a reliable carbon-free base supply, to keep the electricity going. The only option is nuclear. Whether we like it or not. Because that’s what the evidence tells us.

Mark Yelland – Brighton & Hove

So let’s be straight about this – we need every clean energy tool in the box, and renewables have a major part to play, but it is clear that we are not making anywhere near sufficient headway to meet our climate targets.

Neil O’Doherty – Somerset

“Over the last couple of years, it has become increasingly apparent to me that a logical rather than ideological response to the situation is needed, and for this reason began to question some of my previously held positions on a number of large-scale infrastructure projects that, if carefully delivered, could contribute significantly to the delivery and efficient use of our future energy supply.”

Sam Easterby-Smith – Manchester

“The power stations remain strange, and terrifying. But I now see a certain beauty in them and suspect that we probably need them”.

Resources

We have commissioned some posterdesigns, if you would like to, you can download and print them or use them on a T-shirt, mugs, anything you like. Please feel free, you could even send us a photo on Twitter!

The files are a vector PDF which is good for printing to nearly any size. The PNG is suitable up to A4.

Download and print this poster

As a PDF | As a PNG

 

Download and print this poster

As a PDF | As a PNG

 

Download and print this poster

As a PDF | As a PNG

 

 

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