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July 29th 50th Anniversary of IAEA : Nuclear Energy is not the Solution for climate change PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Sunday, 29 July 2007 05:39

2007 July 29

July 29th 50th Anniversary of IAEA : Nuclear Energy is not the Solution for climate change
PEJ News-posted by Joan Russow -Since at least 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment UNCED, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been promoting nuclear energy as the solution to climate change,. Enclosed, is (i) the link to a birthday card that criticizes the IAEA position on the so-called peaceful use of nuclear energy, and (ii) A draft petition on climate change: Climate Change: Draft Petition for Compliance and Enforcement of State Obligations and Commitments



The IAEA birthday card, which has been created by the IPPNW-Germany (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), can be signed at www.iaea.ippnw.de, and the following is a draft petition on Climate change.

Climate Change: Draft Petition for Compliance and Enforcement of State Obligations and Commitments

Compiled Joan Russow, Richard Levicki and Deborah Andrews

In 1988, scientists, politicians and members of non Government organizations (NGOs) met at the Changing Atmosphere Conference in Toronto to address the issue of climate change and warned that:

"Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequence could be second only to a global nuclear war. The Earth's atmosphere is being changed at an unprecedented rate by pollutants resulting from wasteful fossil fuel use ... These changes represent a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the globe.... it is imperative to act now".

In the Conference Statement from the 1988 Conference, the participants, scientists, government representatives, industry, other organizations called for:

" the Stabilizing of the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 is an imperative goal. It is currently estimated to require reductions of more than 50% from present [1988] emission levels. Energy research and development budgets must be massively directed to energy options which would eliminate or greatly reduce CO2 emissions and to studies undertaken to further refine the target reductions."

(1).For years, member states of the United Nations have been warned about climate change and have been incurring obligations and making commitments related to climate change through a range of Conventions, Conference Action plans and General Assembly resolutions. The Time for procrastination has long since passed.

(2). Becoming more and more aware of the dangers related to climate change, legal instruments already in place have become more relevant to policy decision making, for example the provision under the Charter of the United Nations to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the impact of climate change on international peace and security, to launch cases against the egregious greenhouse gas producing states that are signatories of the UN Convention on Climate Change, to invoke the Environment section of the ICJ. In addition, the ICJ to investigate (i) the failure on the part of the IAEA –the so-called “nuclear Watchdog” - to acknowledge the inextricable link between nuclear energy and the development of nuclear arms (ii) the questionable role of the IAEA in promoting nuclear energy as the solution to climate change.

(3) Commemorating the Fifteenth anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and subsequent relevant conferences

(4) Concurring with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the anthropogenic causes of climate change, and reaffirming the precautionary principle which was enunciated in both the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and in the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

(5) "The Climate Change Convention came into force in the spring of 1994. Under the Convention, the signatories of the Convention were bound to invoke the precautionary principle which affirmed that governments should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent, or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there is the threat of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent the threat."

(6) Adaptation to climate change should not be used to justify inaction in preventing and mitigating its effects.

(7) Aware that while the threat of climate change has been obvious for decades, policy makers in governments and the private sector including the military establishment, as the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, have refused to address the urgency of the crisis. Largely coerced into this position by industry, industry front groups, industry funded academics and industry controlled states, they have not only failed to address the urgency of the crisis through enacting effective legislation, they have also failed to even consider the sufficient resources that will be required to protect the poor and most vulnerable from the current and future impacts of climate change. In addition, they have failed to consider the need to assist low-lying states and small island developing states that have already been impacted by climate change, and to compensate the global displacement of people resulting from climate change.

(8) Acknowledging the importance of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and the Framework Convention on Climate Change which was signed and ratified by most Member States of the United Nations including many who have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and which called for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the preservation of carbon sinks such as old growth forests and bogs, with a final objective of stabilizing emissions to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interferences within mandatory time frames;

(9) Noting that the General Assembly resolution A/RES/47/191 states that the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) should ensure effective follow-up to Agenda 21, and other UNCED obligations and commitment. And concurring with the commitment made under Chapter 9, the section on Atmosphere in Agenda 21, calling for environmentally sound renewable energy:

"New and renewable energy sources are solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, ocean, animal and human power, as referred to in the reports of the Committee on the Development and Utilization of New and Renewable Sources of Energy, prepared specifically for the Conference (see A/CONF.151/PC/119 and A/AC.218/1992/5).

(10) And concerned that the CSD failed in this role in its current format as shown by the failure of negotiations at CSD15, especially to produce a negotiated outcome on climate change and other issues.

(11) Concurring with the fundamental principle enunciated throughout UN documents: of the right of future generations to their ecological heritage and a safe environment and specifically the obligation enunciated in the Framework Convention on Climate Change "to protect the climate system for present and future generations.

(12) Recalling the commitment made to reduce the ecological footprint, (Habitat II) and to move away from the over-consumptive pattern of development (Agenda 21) and to respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose (World Charter of Nature).

(13) Recalling also the commitment made in the 1995, Platform of Action, UN Convention on Women: Equality, Development and Peace, to ensure that "all corporations including transnational corporations, comply with national laws and codes, social security regulations, applicable international agreements, instruments and conventions, including those related to the environment, and other relevant laws and international environmental law" (Section 167).

(14) Noting the importance of implementing the commitment made, in Agenda 21, to the "the reallocation of resources presently committed to military purposes" ( 33.18e ); and urge part of the peace dividend to be transferred to the development of environmentally safe and sound alternative energy. and to the instituting of the "fair and just transition principle" for affected workers and communities; We urge all members of society, and institutions to invest in socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound energy. that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(15) Deeply concerned that foreign refusal to supply fossil fuel for consumption could be deemed to violate "strategic national interest" and result in military intervention;

(16) Concerned that solutions proposed to address the issue of climate change would have in themselves serious irreversible consequences, such as those arising out of the use of genetically engineering technology, about biofuels, as they impact land, water use and food security Similarly, we have grave reservations about nuclear energy being proposed as a solution to climate change because (although promulgated as "safe, clean, and cheap, there is clear and valid scientific evidence of its inherent dangers: lack of safety (emissions into both air and ground water), security-linked issues, unresolved (and likely unresolvable) waste disposal problems and finally, its inextricable link with the development of nuclear arms.

(17) Reaffirming that Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development" ( Rio Declarations. Principle 24, UNCED, 1992), and that there must be rigorous adherence to and enforcement of the [1978] Convention on the Prohibition of Military of Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) .

(18) Concurring with the fundamental principle of intergenerational equity [and] the rights of future generations to their cultural, natural heritage and to a safe environment and affirming the obligation in the Framework Convention on Climate Change " to protect the climate system for present and future generations."

(19) Taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and accepting that developing countries have adopted Principle 3 of the Rio Declaration (1992) that "The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations." Industrialised nations must work cooperatively, and in the best interests of those nations and peoples with the least resources to support those nations in developing strategies for addressing the potential impact of climate change as well as strategies for conservation and the development of alternative sources of energies uniquely suited to their circumstances." The impact on the world's poor must be given the highest priority.

Towards this end, emission targets and time frames should be linked
to per capita allowances, taking into account the concept of common but
differentiated responsibilities and that population growth is related
to per capita emissions policies, most importantly since 1992.

(20) "We recommend that the Commission on Sustainable Development, in light of the failure in negotiations of CSD15 to produce a negotiated outcome on climate change and other issues, be upgraded to a Council, that would be able to convene at any time to deal with new or emerging environmental threats. This council should be based in Switzerland and governments must send mandated experts to negotiate real solutions to the issues.

(21) We recommend that UNEP be upgraded to the status of an agency." and be given the mandate to inform states of relevant precedents during negotiating processes so as to ensure compliance with previous obligations incurred and commitments made.

(22) We demand that rather than descending to the lowest common denominator in assessing climate targets in all international negotiating arenas the strongest percentage target advocated to best address the crisis be adopted Based on current knowledge we demand a minimum of a 2°C and 400ppm CO2-equivalent emission target within adequate timeframes , and a phase out to at least 90% of 1990 levels by 2050, taking into account the precautionary principle, just and fair transition and the concept of common but differentiated responsibility.

And Affirm that Nuclear is absolutely not considered in any way to be an option to this end, and carbon capture both under ground and through tree planting, so-called clean fossil fuels and large scale hydroelectric sources should also not be seen as option to this end.

(23) We warn all governments and their politicians that failure to take actions aiming for these targets may in medium to poor case scenarios, be seen as a crime against humanity and a breach of a range of UN legal instruments and in direct contravention of all laws requiring nation states to respect and avoid carrying out actions that are a threat to life environmental justice and equity , peace and security. For this reason we also ask that the UN General Assembly take on the issue and demand agreement, and that major greenhouse gas producing states be forced to implement actions that discharge obligations made on ratifying UNFCCC. In addition, historic emissions should be considered and evaluated and that refusal to take action since the coming into force of the UNFCCC should be considered and evaluated, and that refusal to take action since 1993 must be deemed relevant to the assessment of a state's dereliction of duty.

(24 ) We recommend that the Follow up to the Kyoto protocol or any other policy agreement/legal instrument directed towards reducing climate change related emission should move towards an equitable international system that does not prejudice the worlds poor or politically disadvantaged. Towards this end, emission targets and time frames should be linked to per capita allowances, taking into account the concept of common but differentiated responsibilities and that population growth is related to per capita emissions policies, most importantly since 1992.

(25) We urge all states to have a time-bound phasing out of subsidies for fossil fuel and nuclear energy, and a time- bound commitment to conservation, and to subsidizing and investing in socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound alternative energy options, especially renewables, that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We oppose the advocating of nuclear energy as a solution to climate change – No proposed course of action should either continue or exacerbate global warming and climate change.

(26) We advocate that, to achieve UNFCCC commitment it is imperative that governments and international organizations adopt at the national level, policies leading to timetables for progressively disclosing and phasing out energy subsidies which inhibit sustainable development The dominant greenhouse gas producing states should be compelled to finance an international fund for sustainable energy that would support energy conservation and sustainable forms of renewable energy projects in low income areas of developing countries and economies in transition, as well as monitor the disclosure and phasing out of such subsidies. In addition, the exploitation of human and natural resources by developed states in developing states and states in transition has undermined the ability of the latter states to address the impact of climate change.

(27) We call for the dominant greenhouse gas producing states and their ‘overseas’ operations (military and corporate) should be assessed a fine commensurate with the pollution they are inflicting on the world. That this fine be established to occur on a monthly basis, and be reduced in percentage equal to the percentage of the reduction of pollution achieved. The current rate of pollution to be tabulated as “100% of the current rate of pollution). This would draw dramatic attention to two elements: the egregious use of military force and occupation and its enormous contribution to waste and pollution of the soil, the air, the water – not to mention migration, dislocation, destruction of societies, property and antiquities.

(28) We call for bold action to be taken immediately to effectively address the crisis, and affirm that climate change represents a direct threat to our future and common efforts to achieve the implementation of the MDGs, including long-term food security, provision of clean water and sanitation, clean air and to ensure that environmentally sound development is also socially equitable and sustainable.– Climate change is a direct threat to social peace and security, global economic stability, equality, environmentally sound development, poverty reduction, the prevention of disease and food security;

(29) We call upon States to implement the commitment made in Agenda 21 to "the reallocation of resources committed to military purposes" (33.18), and to transfer the peace dividend to seriously address the urgent issue of climate change. And to finally act on the minimal long-standing commitment of 0.7% of GDP being transferred to Overseas Development, towards overseas development aid (ODA). We oppose ODA being linked to military purchases, or to the acceptance of socially inequitable and environmentally unsound practices or technologies(30) We recommend that the Commission on Sustainable Development, be upgraded to a Council with appropriate political power, that would be able to convene at any time to develop and implement solutions intended to address unresolved extreme environmental as well as new or emerging issues, and we would propose the setting up of an International Court of Compliance, linked to the ICJ, where citizens could take cases of state and corporate non-compliance .

For comments or for further suggestions, please contact Joan Russow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 13:51

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