THE GREENS/EFA IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
PRESS RELEASE – Brussels, 23 February 2006
– EP committee supports Green proposal to reject nuclear research funding
The European Parliament Environment Committee today voted to oppose public funding for EURATOM nuclear fission and fusion research, supporting a proposal of the Green group to limit nuclear research to radiation protection, radioactive waste and safety techniques.
Satu Hassi, Vice Chair of the Environment Committee and Draftsman for the FP7 and EURATOM research opinions, said:
“Today’s vote by the Environment Committee restores some balance to proposed energy research funding under FP7 and EURATOM. It defies logic that nuclear fusion, a technology which may not be commercially viable for forty years, should receive more than three times the budget of all renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes, as proposed by the Commission. The decision to reduce the allocation for nuclear research from € 3092 million to € 310 million better reflects the realities of EU energy policy and is a better use of taxpayers’ money.
“We have to prioritise technology that can have an immediate impact on protecting our climate and cutting emissions, namely energy efficiency and renewables. The Environment Committee agreed that the objective of European energy research should be to make the EU the most energy efficient and least fossil fuel-dependent economy in the world by 2020.
“In order to bring climate change under control the EU must reduce its emissions quickly: at least 30% by 2020 and 60-80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. There is no evidence to suggest nuclear fusion will have anything to offer by 2020 and even 2050 might optimistic. It stands to reason that funding should instead go to research into technologies that can produce results sooner.
“EU energy policy must focus on meeting our commitments to stem global warming: ensuring temperature rises are kept to within 2 degrees of pre-industrial levels. This means giving meaningful support to technology aimed at improving energy efficiency and renewable energy.”