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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 50 December 9, 2023

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Dec 9, 2003

Saturday 9 December 2023


Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, December 9, 2023

At the recently held world climate conference COP28 in Dubai, top executives of energy multinationals argued in favour of oil and gas and painted their credentials as climate-friendly. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas are set to hit a record high in 2023 with China and India driving the big increase. The Dubai event was chaired by UAE’s top oil executive and hundreds of lobbyists from fossil fuel firms attended the conference to resist any plans for a phase-out of the fossil fuel economy. This is the 28th conference since 1992 on the Climate question and all of these have failed to take the key measure to stop production of the Oil, Gas, and Coal which are responsible for carbon emissions that are endangering the planet and deregulating the climate system. This time the Nuclear energy lobby registered a big presence at COP28. The French President Macron acting like a salesman for the powerful Nuclear energy sector called for tripling nuclear production capacities by 2050 as a credible route to fight global warming. From the days of Chernobyl and the Fukushima Nuclear accident, the nuclear power sector has lost much credibility and the French solution of promoting its new generation EPR reactors is a disastrous idea. The EPR reactor being built in Flamanville in France is over 10 years late and overshot its costs four times over. Nuclear power is one of the most expensive ways of producing energy so there was an invitation to international financial institutions to finance the nuclear power sector. Nuclear power represents less than 3% of global energy production and is an unrealistic solution to decarbonise the planet. India joined the 20-odd countries at the COP28 going for the very expensive nuclear fantasy. Nuclear energy should have no place in a safe, clean, sustainable future. All forward-looking political parties and progressive organisations in India must stand for a total phase-out of fossil fuel and nuclear power and promote a large-scale national transition to the renewable energies sector and accordingly develop plans for an ecologically viable economic future that is not all in private hands but managed as public sector and or run by consumer and worker cooperatives.

December 9, 2023 - HK

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