Today, together with a team of young climate activists, RePlanet has launched a new campaign, Dear Greenpeace, asking one of the world's most renowned environmental groups to drop its opposition to zero-carbon nuclear power.
Ia Aanstoot, 18, a former school striker is taking legal action to stop Greenpeace’s attack on nuclear power. Photo: Rowan Farrell
Greenpeace should drop their opposition to nuclear energy and focus their resources on fighting fossil fuels instead. This is the demand of a new campaign fronted by 18-year-old Swedish school striker Ia Aanstoot which this week submitted papers to the European Court of Justice in a bid to defend nuclear power’s place in the EU taxonomy for sustainable finance.
The Dear Greenpeace Campaign, led by Aanstoot and colleagues from five other countries, comes in response to Greenpeace International’s April 2023 announcement that it would appeal the EU Commission’s decision to include nuclear power in the EU taxonomy. This, claims Aanstoot, is a move which serves fossil fuel interests instead of climate action.
“Greenpeace is stuck in the past fighting clean, carbon-free nuclear energy while the world is literally burning” - Ia Aanstoot
The request sent this week to the European Court of Justice asks for entry as an ‘interested party’ in the upcoming legal battle between the Commission and Greenpeace. Such a status, should it be granted by the court, would allow Aanstoot and other pro-nuclear campaigners to provide expert testimony in favour of carbon-free nuclear energy and its role in decarbonisation.
Ia Aanstoot, 18-year-old school striker from Sweden says, “Greenpeace is stuck in the past fighting clean, carbon-free nuclear energy while the world is literally burning. We need to be using all the tools available to address climate change and nuclear is one of them. I’m tired of having to fight my fellow environmentalists about this when we should be fighting fossil fuels together.”
Young climate activists from the Dear Greenpeace campaign protesting together in Sweden. Photo: Rowan Farrell
Aanstoot, who spent three years striking from school each Friday as part of the Greta Thunberg led Fridays for Future movement, is not content to simply defend nuclear energy’s role in the taxonomy. Aanstoot and her colleagues are also launching a petition calling for Greenpeace to cease all campaigning activities against nuclear energy - which they argue is clean, safe and necessary to prevent climate breakdown.
Mark Lynas, award-winning author and climate expert says: “Greenpeace are leaders in the climate debate, but in this case they are simply on the wrong side of history. Nuclear is carbon-free and essential to getting rid of fossil fuels. What more do they need to know?”
“I’ve protested opposite Greenpeace in horror as they campaigned to stop Germany’s nuclear reactors - something which led to much more demand for coal” - Julia Galosh
Nuclear energy is currently the largest source of clean energy in the EU, generating 21.9% of electricity for the bloc in 2022. Countries such as France and Sweden have seen a rapid decarbonisation of their electricity generation thanks to nuclear power and countries utilising nuclear across Europe consistently have lower emissions than those without.
Aanstoot is leading a team of young people who feel let down by the anti-science position of Greenpeace when it comes to nuclear. They argue that Greenpeace’s anti-nuclear position may have been understandable 40 years ago but the failure to update their position in the face of the climate crisis is putting their future at risk.
Julia Galosh, 22, from Poland has joined the Dear Greenpeace campaign as she realises that coal is the most likely energy source when nuclear is not used. Photo: Rowan Farrell
Other young climate activists taking part include:
Ariel Marchel (14), a school student and Extinction Rebellion member from Poland;
Filip Auvoja (17), a school student from Sweden;
Julia Galosh (22), a biologist from Poland;
François Jaffré (24), an international relations student from France;
Ellen Ojala (26), a political science student from Finland; and
Freek van der Heide (23), a law student from The Netherlands.
Julia Galosh, 22-year-old biologist and climate activist says, “I’ve protested opposite Greenpeace in horror as they campaigned to stop Germany’s nuclear reactors - something which led to much more demand for coal. Now they want to stop my home country of Poland from transitioning from coal to nuclear. Enough is enough.”