Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Government Energy Review

I got this from Greenpeace.

We're pretty impressed at the depths New Labour will sink to push a bad idea - so much so that we've made a video about the government's Energy Review (1)- the latest ploy in their tireless efforts to revive the dirty and dangerous nuclear industry.

For the last couple of years the government has been trying to convince the country that we need new nuclear power stations to cut emissions and stop climate change.

Their latest public consultation has been spun like a fine angora wool. Dr Paul Dorfman, a senior research fellow at the National Centre for Involvement at the University of Warwick, told the Guardian that the questions being asked in the consultation were deliberately skewed to get a thumbs up for nuclear power. The questions asked, he said, massively overplayed nuclear's role in tackling climate change - because the government knew this was the only way they could ever get people to accept new nuclear power.

Some of the few people invited to participate in the consultation (1100 people, nationwide) left eloquent comments about their experiences on our site. Meg from Cardiff said: "It became quickly clear that the intention was to provide us with very limited, biased information in order to lead the participants to a predetermined conclusion."

The fact that a new fleet of reactors in the UK could only cut our carbon emissions by a measly 4% was buried at the back of a huge pile of information presented on the day.

What I find even more perplexing is that the government says it's up to the private sector to "initiate, fund, construct and operate new nuclear plants and cover the costs of decommissioning and their full share of long term waste management costs." The government have repeatedly refused to qualify exactly what 'full share' means.

Given the past economic performance of nuclear power, it's unlikely any smart business person would touch nuclear power without government subsidies or assistance. The simple fact is that there is currently no reactor programme anywhere in the world which exists without subsidies.

So if it is up to businesses to fund and build the new reactors, what exactly is our government doing to reduce our energy emissions? Is the best we can now expect from government a marketing exercise?

We say there's a more convenient solution, which can do far more to reduce our emissions than nuclear power - for less money and in the same time frame. The solution is a mix of renewable energy, efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP).

The government's public consultation finishes on October 10th, and we need you to write to your MP (2) urging them to take a closer look at the real solutions that can meet our energy needs and reduce our impact on climate change.


We'd like 10,000 people to write to their MPs before the consultation ends in October. Please help by writing a letter to yours! Thank you.

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