Drive into dusk, drive into dawn: With fully packed vans or by train, several Koalas set off for Strasbourg on January 18 and 19. The anti-nuclear NGO .ausgestrahlt had invited us to export our greenwashing protest on EU taxonomy from Frankfurt to the neighboring country. Together with a Franco-German alliance, we protested again on January 19 against the EU Commission’s proposal to label dangerous nuclear power and climate-damaging natural gas as sustainable. The occasion was a visit by French President Macron to the Strasbourg EU Parliament for France’s EU Council Presidency. Macron is the driving force behind plans to include nuclear power in the sustainability taxonomy, contrary to scientific recommendations.
The protest was colorful, the protest was loud, the protest was bilingual. More than 120 people had come from Germany and France and demanded:
“No greenwashing of natural gas and nuclear power, Monsiuer Macron!”
Aside from KoalaKollektiv and .ausgestrahlt, a whole lot of other activists had called for the action: Réseau “Sortir du nucléaire”, BUND Baden-Württemberg, BUND Südlicher Oberrhein, Comité pour la Sauvegarde de Fessenheim et de la plaine du Rhin (CSFR), the group Stop Transports – Halte au Nucléaire, the association Stop Fessenheim and the Mahnwache Breisach.
On stage we received powerful support from activists from Freiburg:
Even politicians showed up: Jeaque Fernique, Senator of the Département Bas-Rhin (the French Senate is similar to the German Bundesrat); as well as Michelle Rivasi, Member of the European Parliament in the group “The Greens/European Free Alliance”.
A rally was held before the actual action.
Speech of the KoalaKollektiv
“Monsieur Macron, Frau v.d. Leyen – are you screwing with us?
Including dangerous, expensive nuclear power and anti-future natural gas in the sustainability taxonomy is greenwashing of the worst kind.
Once again, you’re catering to nuclear and fossil fuel lobbying. Monsieur Macron and the EU Commission are putting short-term political and economic interests above the protection of our livelihoods.
Monsieur Macron, Frau v. d. Leyen – maybe you haven’t noticed yet, but the climate crisis is already here!
In the Global South, millions of people are already suffering from rising sea levels, droughts and other extreme weather events.
But the climate crisis is not just a leading export of rich nations like us. The flood disasters and forest fires last summer in Europe have shown that we are both perpetrators and victims: We are both perpetrators and victims.
But we are also the ones who have the responsibility and the opportunities to stop the progression of the climate crisis. We must shape social-ecological change.
But this cannot be achieved by expanding expensive nuclear power. Nuclear power would require investments that exceed the costs of renewable energies many times over. Not to mention the dangers posed by reactor catastrophes and nuclear waste that will radiate for thousands of years.
Social-ecological change is also not possible with the expansion of fossil natural gas, which continues to drive global warming and for which deals have to be struck with abusive and authoritarian regimes.
We demand from the EU: Keep the taxonomy clean!
Sustainability label only for sustainable products!
For a life worth living. Today. Tomorrow. Here. And everywhere.
Mr. Macron, Mrs. v.d. Leyen: We will not be screwed with.”