OTTAWA, March 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Environment Minister John Baird's plan to
allow Ontario to spend greenhouse gas emission penalties on new nuclear plants
is bizarre and totally wrong-headed and diminishes the validity of any system
of real offsets, said Greenpeace today.
"It seems too cute by half," said Greenpeace Executive Director Bruce
Cox. "This is an exit strategy for Ontario to once again break its promise to
close smog-belching coal plants by 2014. Harper's federal government lets them
put the money into dangerous, unreliable nuclear stations. Two wrongs do not
make a right."
Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government admits it cannot build new
nuclear reactors fast enough to meet Ontario's electricity needs or address
climate change. Not only are nuclear plants notoriously over budget and behind
schedule, but McGuinty was re-elected last October promising to close
coal-fired generators by the end of 2014.
"This is a sleight of hand between Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty
that will see Canadian taxpayers fund Ontario nuclear reactors - in effect, it
is an incentive plan to keep the coal plants open," said Cox. "We must not
allow governments to subsidize environmentally-unsustainable nuclear power
through penalties for failure to shut greenhouse gas emissions from coal
Canada is once again threatening to ignore internationally recognized
climate change standards, this time on carbon offsets. In 2000, delegates to
the climate change talks in the Hague, Netherlands steadfastly rejected
granting carbon credits for increased nuclear capacity.
Nuclear reactors divert government support from cleaner and more
affordable energy options that can fill the looming electricity gap without
forcing a choice between the two dirty options of coal and nuclear.
Greenpeace reiterated that what is needed is commitment by governments at
all levels to significant investment in energy efficiency and conservation and
the development of green, renewable energy options.
For further information:
For further information: Bruce Cox, Executive Director, (416) 419 7341