Global Greens express solidarity with the Japanese people and call for radical change in the world’s energy paradigm
We, the Global Greens, representing more than 80 Green parties around the world, express our solidarity with the Japanese people at this tragic time. We send deep condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Global Greens call on governments and civil society organisations in our respective countries to express their solidarity not only in words but also through practical help. The scale of the disaster is horrendous, with thousands of people dead and missing, hundreds of thousands without a home, two million without electricity and a million without regular access to drinking water.
The impacts of the earthquake and tsunami have been aggravated by fires, explosions and the potential for nuclear meltdown at several nuclear power plants. In particular, radioactive emissions and the risk caused by explosions at the nuclear plants at Fukushima have led to the evacuation of more than 200,000 people and pose an extreme risk for Japan and its neighbours. We deeply hope that the damage will be not greater than has already occurred and call on the Japanese government and the electricity companies to ensure that the public are given detailed, reliable and timely information.
The fact that these nuclear accidents are taking place exactly 25 years after the terrible Chernobyl nuclear accident calls for action. We Global Greens reaffirm our rejection of nuclear energy and our position that public and private efforts to solve energy problems should focus on using energy more efficiently and promoting clean renewable energy.
At this dramatic moment, the Global Greens call on governments such as China (which has just decided to create 50 new nuclear power plants), Italy, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, USA, Turkey, Russia, India and many others to review their decision to promote nuclear power. Likewise we call on governments that have decided to extend the lifespan of long obsolete nuclear plants, such as Germany, Belgium and others, to close them as soon as possible.
We also call for an updated audit of the world’s existing nuclear power plants investigating their vulnerability to earthquakes, floods and events such as plane crashes and terrorist attack, and the scale of consequential impacts on people, industry and the environment.
Continuing to invest in nuclear energy when there is no solution to the problem of radioactive waste, when people are threatened each time an accident occurs, when insurance companies refuse to insure the potential risks, when they can be used for military purposes and when they constitute a permanent temptation for terrorism, is totally irresponsible.
In this time of grief in Japan, we call upon the governments of our countries to honour the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, and also to take steps to save others from experiencing the fear and disruption of nuclear accidents by initiating a paradigm shift to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Renewable energy technologies are safe, civilian in nature, create significant numbers of permanent jobs, are based on technologies available to all, and increase the energy independence or our countries. Combined with much greater energy efficiency they favour the prospect of a more peaceful and sustainable world, helping to overcome oil wars and provide energy for all. It is time to leave the nuclear era behind us.
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Global Greens Statement, 16 March 2011