Joint Statement: Toward the UN Climate Summit – for a world without a climate change crisis and nuclear power
Human Rights Now, together with 16 other NGOs, has published a joint statement appealing that nuclear power plants cannot be a solution for climate change. This is prepared toward the UN Climate Summit called by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Toward the UN Climate Summit – for aworld without a climate change crisis and nuclear power
The climate crisis is one of the biggest issues we face and has been the most threatening concern to the life on the earth we ever experienced. To avert future disasters and critical effects of climate change, an agreement was made that limits the world to less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature. To achieve this goal, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced radically.
The upcoming UN Climate Summit on the 23rd September is hosted by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and not only the leaders of UN Member States but others at the highest level from private sectors, finance, civil society, etc. are invited. The purpose of the summit is to gather political will for a meaningful international agreement at 2015 COP21 in Paris, and to reduce greenhouse gas emission by promoting active involvement for enhancing resilience against on-going changes.We expect this summit be the big step forward for an ambitious international agreement of 2015 to avert climate crisis.
While at the same time, we strongly oppose theconsideration of including nuclear energy as a solution to climate change.
In Japan, the worst accident at TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company)’s Fukushima Dai-ichinuclear power station occurred in 2011 which left hundreds of thousands of refugees. Even now radiation release continues especially with a highly-concentrated amount to the ocean. We must not repeat this tragedy ever again.
We would like to emphasize that nuclear power cannot be a solution to climate change due to the following reasons;
1) Once accidents occur, social and environmental damage as well as violations of fundamental human rights including rights to health, to land and houses, safe water, is immeasurable. Particularly, socially vulnerable populations such as women and children would suffer the most;
2) Even if there is no accident, there is always a risk of radioactive contamination and the surrounding environment that could become contaminated. As long as nuclear power is in operation, it would generate radioactive waste while there is no proper way ofdisposing it. Uranium mining as well as nuclear waste contains a risk to our ecosystem and will result in severe violations of human rights in terms of environmental protection, such as health and hygiene, and rights to land;
3) Dependency on nuclear energy in the states withnuclear power plants consequentially leads to nuclear proliferation in non-holder states;
4) Maintaining large-scale systemspreventssmall scale distributed energy systems, which use renewable energy sources, from becoming widespread;
5) Because nuclear power plants stimulate increasedenergy consumption, people and policy makers neglect taking measures such as energy-conservation efforts;
6) The latest IPCC report shows that, even without nuclear energy, ambitious global warming goals are achievable with alternative generation technologies as well as energy-saving efforts, and increase in cost would be not too much. If you consider properly the cost of a nuclear accident, it is nuclear energy instead which will result in higher costs;
7) Although nuclear power is said to have no emission of greenhouse gases during operation, when you include the whole cycle of nuclear fuel – uranium mining, construction, disposal and storage of nuclearwaste –overall it emits a greater amount of greenhouse gas than many other alternative generation technologies;
8) Greenhouse gas emissions have not been decreased in spite of increase of nuclear power plants;
9) Radical reduction of greenhouse gases is an urgent task; whereas the discussion regarding new generation reactorsisneither realistic nor reasonable.
Society from now onward required buildinga sustainable energy system which does not depend on nuclear power plants or fossil fuel considering the enormous risk of nuclear disasters and climate change. Instead the system should consist of energy-savings, energy efficiency, and sustainable renewable energy.
We call upon the Japanese government as well as international society to jointly recognizetheimmeasurable threats both of nuclear power and of climate change, and take the first step towards a safe, peaceful, and sustainable world.
Signed by 17 organizations:
Friends of the Earth Japan
Human Rights Now
Citizens’ Alliance for Saving the Atmosphere and the Earth (CASA)
Ugoku/Ugokasu (GCAP Japan)
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
Japan Civil Network for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
Japan Network for Earth Environment and Prevention of Pollution
Save The Earth! Action 97
Japan Post 2015 NGO Platform
JAWW (Japan Women’s Watch)
Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)
Japan CSO Coalition for 2015 WCDRR (JCC2015)
Human Rights Now
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