Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg believes it is irresponsible to shut down Germany’s still operational nuclear power stations and instead rely more on coal power.
“If we have them [nuclear] already running, I feel it’s a mistake to close them down in order to focus on coal,” the 19-year old activist said in an interview.
Germany recently confirmed phasing out its nuclear energy sources at the end of the year as regulated in the Atomic Energy Act. However, the country is keeping two of the last three remaining nuclear power plants running in reserve until mid-April next year.
Thunberg went on to say that turning to coal is a “bad idea” when “the other” still exists. She added that there are other ways forward “with renewable energy.”
While understanding the delicate balance to addressing climate concerns while managing rising energy costs, Thunberg warned against continuing to invest in fossil energy.
“People would also have made themselves dependent and created a society in which we are not able to look to the future for more than a year. This is not sustainable!” the founder of the Fridays for Future movement said.
When asked if nuclear power reactors should be shut down following the current crisis, Thunberg replied, “It depends on what happens.”
The nuclear exit by the Berlin government marks the long-standing dillydallying on its nuclear energy policy. The country is caught in a bind as it tries to enact the 2011 resolution by former Chancellor Angela Merkel to make a nuclear exit by the end of 2022, but is starting to reconsider in the face of threats to the stability of the energy supply.
Germany’s nuclear facilities contribute around 5% – 7% of the country’s total electricity supply.
Germany’s nuclear energy policy has been a point of debate among the country’s political parties. Scholz’s own party Social Democrats and the Green Party have opposed extending the life of the nuclear plants while the Free Democrats have been pushing for it.
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