Posted by David Martin

Last week the Foundation’s team were delighted to attend a Parliamentary reception celebrating the launch of new pro-nuclear advocacy group New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE). Chaired by Tim Yeo MP, long-standing chair of the UK Commons’ Energy & Climate Change Committee, NNWE is the latest organisation dedicated to both strong action on carbon emissions and committed to a new generation of nuclear power, understanding that, in a fast-growing world with today’s current trends, the former entails the latter.

NNWE joins a growing body of pro-nuclear civil society groups worldwide. In the last year alone, Energy For Humanity was established in part to inform the general public about the truth about nuclear power and to start a conversation about the overlooked benefits of nuclear energy; Australian group DecarboniseSA, led by climatologist Barry Brook, successfully campaigned for a Royal Commission on the potential for nuclear power in South Australia; and a plucky group of German environmentalists formed Maxatomstrom to advocate for a renaissance of nuclear power in Germany in order to phase-out Germany’s polluting lignite coal plants.

In the fine detail these new organisations’ priorities may differ, but they all have one thing in common: they are truly environmental groups who appreciate that, given the desperate plight of our environment, and the world’s growing demand for energy as billions are brought out of poverty, a new generation of nuclear power is essential if we are to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the climate science. As the leading climate scientist Professor James Hansen has written, “Safer, cheaper and cleaner nuclear power can replace coal and is desperately needed as an essential part of the solution”.

It’s not just civil society groups campaigning for nuclear: growing numbers of expert ecologists publicly support nuclear energy, too. Last month nearly 70 of the world’s top conservation biologists published an open letter imploring the green movement to shed its anti-nuclear past and support nuclear energy to save the natural world. Leading climatologists’ support for nuclear is on public record. In the UK climate campaigners such as George Monbiot, Mark Lynas and Stephen Tindale are now outspoken in their support of nuclear power to counter the peril of catastrophic climate change.

Of course the Alvin Weinberg Foundation has campaigned for safer, cleaner and cheaper advanced nuclear energy to tackle climate change since our establishment in 2011 and, with your help, we will continue to do so. We are proud and delighted to be part of the growing chorus of pro-nuclear environmental opinion worldwide.

For more on nuclear power and the environment, read Professor Jim Hansen’s article, “Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power and Galileo” [PDF link]

If you support the urgent development of advanced nuclear energy to tackle climate change, please consider supporting our 2015 appeal. Thank you.

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I am delighted to support the Alvin Weinberg Foundation’s crucial mission of researching the potential of new nuclear technology and raising awareness amongst the public and civil society. — Professor Jim al-Khalili OBE

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