Note that Blair pushes for an EU commitment to nuclear power
with ref to EU dependence on imported oil and gas, with no ref to “renewables”
– flying in the face of the EU policy that each country will make its own
decisions on nuclear power.
See also the European Parliament treatment of the speech and
Or if that’s broken:
Regards, Jim Muckerheide
Blair urges common nuclear future
(published on 28-October-2005)
Tony Blair has give the clearest indication yet of his belief in nuclear power
to solve the energy needs of the future.
Tony Blair used his speech to MEPs to call
for use of nuclear power across the EU
Speaking to MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Blair said that
nuclear power was one area "into which we need to be putting future
work" in developing a common energy policy.
With no mention of renewable energy in his entire speech, Mr Blair said that as
Europe was going to be importing
"something like 90% of our oil and gas needs", that it "has to
up its game considerably."
Extending his vision for energy and climate change issues to external relations
with other countries, Mr Blair said he "would commend to you the coal demonstration
plant, with near zero emissions, which we have agreed with China for Europe
Despite Mr Blair's radiating performance, not all MEPs shared his vision.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for SE England, said
she wanted to know what the presidency would do to encourage eco-efficiency
projects, and called for renewable energy to get at least as much funding as
"We need to link the Lisbon
strategy to tackling climate change, and we need to find ways of driving up
environmental and labour standards globally," she said.
Further evidence of Blair's nuclear agenda came in a report commissioned by
Number 10 and conducted by Dieter Helm of New College, Oxford - European
Energy Policy: Securing Supplies and Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change.
This states that Europe's renewable policies
have so far focused on wind technology and that the EU should "consider
widening the scope of renewables towards a definition that includes a number of
It goes on to say: "There is considerable scope for cooperation across the
EU in R&D. For some large-scale technologies - like hydrogen, clean coal
and nuclear - the economies of scale are likely to be considerable, and the EU
is currently at a competitive disadvantage to the US because of its fragmented
In a section entitled "Taking Nuclear Forward on a European basis",
the report then envisages the creation of a nuclear task force to identify
barriers to nuclear development and to "consider how best to create the
conditions which minimise the costs of the inevitable regulatory burden."
Friends of the Earth' climate campaigner Roger Higman told edie that nuclear power is "dirty,
dangerous and expensive."
"If Tony Blair is trying to take the lead on climate change with nuclear
power, then he has to consider whether he would want Iran,
or North Korea,
to do the same."
He pointed out that there is still absolutely no way of dealing with the waste
produced from nuclear power stations and added that Blair should be referred to
a recent quote from Bill Clinton, who said that nuclear power was at best toxic
waste, at worst a bomb-making facility.
By David Hopkins.
© Faversham House Group Ltd 2005. edie
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