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Presentation of local sustainable energy solutions made by Friends of the Baltic at UNFCCC meeting

June 11, 2008 in Bonn the small scale sustainable energy solutions developed within SPARE were presented by Olga Senova, Friends of the Baltic at the WECF side event within UNFCCC (SB-28) international meeting .

The NGO Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) brought about vivid discussion on the role of nuclear in climate change, at Bonn UNFCCC Climate Change Talks (Subsidiary Bodies 28), where delegates from all countries are working in technical working groups to prepare for the Climate negotiations later this year in Poznan, Poland.

The side event “Nuclear Energy – Roadblock to Effective Climate Protection” brought together country representatives and NGOs. According to Daniel Mittler of Greenpeace Germany, “nuclear power is a problem, not a solution. Nuclear power is dangerous and expensive, and will take too long to contribute to cutting CO2 emissions by 2020”.
Vladimir Slivyak of Ecodefence Russia, said that “The nuclear industry wants approval from the UN to attract new funding. If this happens, the risk of nuclear proliferation would dramatically increase. Already today black market trade of nuclear material is a great terrorism thread”, said Slivyak. "Furthermore, nuclear energy is generates much more CO2 in its lifecycle than renewables, and is not that much better than coal".
“The Finish case of the Oikiluto-3 nuclear power plant is a perfect example of false promises”, said Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace Finland. “The nuclear power plant which is build by a French company AVERA, has doubled its price from the original budget, it is 2 years behind schedule, and by last summer there were 1500 quality and safety violations. There is been the suspicion, that AREVA is not so interested in safety, but in cutting down the cost. The cost was planned at 2,5 billion, the contract was signed about 3 billion, costs according to unofficial estimations, are at 5,2 billion Euro, which will be partly subsided by state.
Claire Greensfelder WECF energy advisor, quoting energy consultant Jim Harding, said “for new US nuclear power plants the operating cost will be at least 30 cents per kilowatt hour, for the first 12-13 years, this is absurd when wind and solar are available at 14 cents per kilowatt”.
Olga Senova of Friends of the Baltic, Russia, showed examples of application of small scale renewable energy solutions in EECCA countries within SPARE project - use of solar energy for home purposes, biogas form waste, energy saving at schools and homes. She said “in international SPARE project we are renovating school windows for 300 USD each, saving about 1 megawatt per year per window, and about 1 kg of CO2 per year per window. If we can insulate 1000 schools in the North-West Russia, we can save giga-watts. The same amount of electricity can be saved by simple individual measures. Then we can take part of our old “Leningrad” nuclear plant of the grid”.
We do not need to spend billions Euro to build a new power plants for our region, as our government wants to do, instead, we need 10 million Euro to renovate all bad school windows.
WECF director Sascha Gabizon concluded that the experience from the countries which currently have nuclear power show that nuclear plants are never safe and that human rights are not protected in communities living near uranium mines, waste sites and power plants. Even though the nuclear industry has been highly subsidised by states in the 60 years of its existence, they have not found a solution to nuclear waste disposal guaranteeing the protection of future generations for the coming 250.000 years. Addressing these subsidies to renewables - this is the sustainable alternative.

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