18. January 2022

Press Release 19th January 22

No greenwashing of natural gas and nuclear, Monsieur Macron!

German and French anti-nuclear and climate justice organizations protest in Strasbourg against the inclusion of fossil gas and nuclear power in the EU taxonomy – visually stunning action criticizes greenwashing – occasion is Macron’s visit to the European Parliament

An image from a dystopian doomsday scenario: green fog, nuclear waste and gas barrels, people in protective suits and gas masks, and lots of green sludge.

With a symbolic action, French and German anti-nuclear and climate justice groups .ausgestrahlt, Sortir Du Nucléaire, KoalaKollektiv, BUND Baden-Württemberg and BUND Südlicher Oberrhein, Comité pour la Sauvegarde de Fessenheim et de la plaine du Rhin (CSFR), Stop Transports – Halte au Nucléaire, Stop Fessenheim and Mahnwache Breisach protest on Place Kléber in the centre of Strasbourg against the European Union’s plan to classify dangerous nuclear power and climate-damaging natural gas as “green and sustainable”. The protest is directed in particular against French President Emmanuel Macron, who presents his plans for the French presidency of the Council of the European Union to the European Parliament at the same time.

You can download pictures of the action for free use here: https://cloud.ausgestrahlt.de/index.php/s/Xmgr6EgremtzTeE (© Julian Rettig | .ausgestrahlt, KoalaKollektiv)

Julian Bothe of the German anti-nuclear organization .ausgestrahlt explains: “With the inclusion in the taxonomy, the EU once again privileges the doomsday technology nuclear power. The European Union commission engages in greenwashing on a grand scale and destroys the credibility of the taxonomy. It puts the Green Deal at risk just to keep the failed, dangerous and expensive nuclear technology alive. Every euro that flows into nuclear power due to this misclassification is missing for genuine sustainability and effective climate protection.”

Charlotte Mijeon of the French anti-nuclear networkSortir Du Nucléaire adds: “France’s pro-nuclear diplomacy puts us to shame. France’s nuclear course is a dead end, the French nuclear power plant operator EDF and the nuclear industry are hopelessly in debt. The more frequently France’s ailing nuclear power plants break down and the longer the new nuclear power plant at Flamanville takes to go on line, the tighter President Macron clings to the green financial injection. Unlike President Macron, however, the French people are not in love with nuclear power. On the contrary, this dangerous and polluting technology was and is being forced on us by politicians.”

Hannah Fischer, an activist with the climate justice group KoalaKollektiv, continues, “Once again, nuclear and fossil fuel lobbying is being caved in to. Labelling climate-damaging natural gas and dangerous nuclear energy as ‘sustainable’ is a slap in the face of younger generations who will have to live with the unpredictable consequences of climate crisis and radioactive radiation. The EU Commission is thus putting short-term economic and political interests above the protection of our lives and livelihoods.”

“The classification of natural gas as sustainable is more than absurd,” adds Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch, chairperson of BUND Baden-Württemberg. “Natural gas is a fossil fuel, the extraction and combustion of which continues to fuel the climate crisis. Even if new natural gas power plants may be necessary in exceptional cases and for a limited time, the financial markets must now invest in renewable energies and thus in truly sustainable solutions.”

The action was organized by:

.ausgestrahlt, Sortir Du Nucléaire, KoalaKollektiv, BUND Baden-Württemberg, BUND Südlicher Oberrhein, Comité pour la Sauvegarde de Fessenheim et de la plaine du Rhin (CSFR), Stop Transports – Halte au Nucléaire, Stop Fessenheim and Mahnwache Breisach.

Background: Macron is the driving force behind plans to include nuclear power in the sustainability taxonomy, contrary to scientific recommendations. At the same time, Germany and other countries are lobbying for natural gas. Numerous financial institutions are criticizing these plans. The classification is intended to bridge the excessive debt of the French state-owned group EDF and thus enable lifetime extensions and the construction of new nuclear power plants. However, scientific studies show that nuclear power exacerbates the climate crisis, because investment and maintenance costs are significantly higher and construction times much longer than for renewable energies. In addition, greenhouse gases are emitted during the mining and transport of uranium. Nuclear waste and accident risks clearly violate the “do no significant harm” principle of the EU taxonomy. Natural gas capacities, too, must not be expanded further in order to keep global warming below the critical 1.5 °C level.

Press contacts on site:

Julian Bothe, .ausgestrahlt (German, English) , +49 1573 6191730

Kerstin Kreß, KoalaKollektiv (German, English, French), +49 1567 8368004

André Hatz, Stop Fessenheim (French), +33 6 82 02 69 79

Stefan Auchter, BUND Baden-Württemberg / Südlicher Oberrhein (Deutsch, Englisch), +49 761 4014413

Contact for inquiries:

Julian Bothe, .ausgestrahlt, +49 1573 6191730, julian.bothe@ausgestrahlt.de

Charlotte Mijeon, spokesperson of Sortir Du Nucléaire, +33 6 64 66 01 23 charlotte.mijeon@sortirdunucleaire.fr

Kerstin Kreß, KoalaKollektiv, +49 1567 8368004, mail@koalakollektiv.de

Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch, chairperson of Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), Landesverband Baden-Württemberg, +49 172 8344294, Sylvia.Pilarsky-Grosch@bund.net