Stop Climate Chaos

Miliband energy announcements - Greenpeace responce

Commenting on energy minister Ed Miliband's announcements on more nuclear power stations today, Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace's nuclear campaign, said:

"Miliband can name as many sites as he likes for new nuclear power stations, but the fact remains that the figures simply don't add up.

"Even the Thatcher government realised this. It was exactly 20 years ago to the day that they pulled nuclear plants from the energy privatisation scheme when they realised that nuclear power was not an attractive investment for private companies. And it still isn't.

"Our lawyers will be examining this announcement very closely. You can't justify building more nuclear power stations when there is no solution to radioactive waste and when international regulators are saying there are huge uncertainties surrounding the basic safety of new reactor designs."

Commenting on the announcement of a new coal policy and Ed Miliband's acceptance of the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee that the power sector has to be zero carbon by 2030, Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said:

"Ed Miliband's recognition that we have to decarbonise the power sector is a step in the right direction, but his delivery plan doesn't go far enough. He's left it up to the Environment Agency to ensure Britain isn't lumbered with emissions from a new generation of highly-polluting coal plants long into the future, but he hasn't given the Agency the necessary powers. The Environment Agency should have been given the authority now to force new coal plants to close if their operators can't eliminate all the emissions by the early 2020s, and to guarantee that the whole power sector goes zero carbon by 2030."

He continued:

"What we really need to see is a legally enforceable emissions performance standard for power stations, like the kind already applied to cars. That would mean severely limiting the amount of CO2 they could emit for every unit of electricity they generate."


Greenpeace - 0207 865 8255

On 9 November 1989, then Secretary of State for Energy, John Wakeham, speaking about the financing of new nuclear power stations, said "unprecedented guarantees were being sought. I am not willing to underwrite the private sector in this way." (1)

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