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Nuclear energy won't solve climate crisis, warns MEP

Euro-MP addresses meeting on nuclear power and climate change

Place:  Greyfriars Community Centre, Ringwood, New Forest
Time:   Friday, March 3rd, 7:30pm

EURO-MP Caroline Lucas is to visit the New Forest for a public meeting on nuclear power and climate change.

The Ringwood meeting will discuss the government's energy review – which re-opens the question of whether to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK – and sees the official launch of the New Forest branch of the Green Party.

Dr Lucas, Hampshire's Green Party MEP and a member of the European Parliament's influential Environment Committee, will warn that ever-rising energy prices and the ongoing drought which has sparked a hosepipe ban across the New Forest this winter are typical of the consequences of climate change and the UK's unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels.

“Nuclear power does not provide a solution, either to rising fuel prices or to climate change, which is likely to hit the South-East worse than any other region of the UK,” she said.

“The energy and resources required to build, maintain and operate a nuclear power station means its CO2 emissions, measured over the life of the plant, far exceed those from genuine renewable alternatives.

“Further, new nuclear power stations would add to the deadly legacy of radioactive waste, cost billions to set up – costs which will be passed on to consumers in the shape of higher electricity bills – and do nothing to cut emissions from transport or food production, the two largest and fastest growing sources of the greenhouse gas emissions which are fuelling climate change.

“Tackling climate change and energy insecurity requires a twin-pronged investment in renewable alternatives and energy efficiency and conservation measures. Up to six per cent of the UK's electricity goes to power machines left on standby, for example – representing millions of gigawatts which could be saved at the stroke of a regulator's pen.

“This winter has given us a taste of times to come, with rainfall well below average and water levels in some reservoirs reaching record lows – but we must resist the temptation to don the emperor's new clothes of new nuclear power stations,” she adds.

Janet Richards, the Green Party's parliamentary hopeful in the New Forest West constituency, added: “The government recently launched a public consultation as part of its energy review. This review will decide whether a new generation of nuclear power stations will be built in the UK, so it is vital that local people get involved in the debate. That is why we are holding this public meeting – to allow people to find out more about the issues and show them how they can make their voice heard.”

The meeting is free and open to all.

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