Swiss lawmakers must grasp the historic opportunity they have to steer their country away from using nuclear energy and position Switzerland as a leader in Europe and globally in developing alternative and renewable sources of energy, according to Green Cross International and its founding president, Mikhail Gorbachev.
“I applaud Switzerland for taking this brave step towards ending its reliance on nuclear energy, and I urge its parliamentarians to grasp the historic opportunity they have before them, which can guarantee a safer, cleaner future for their country,” says Mr Gorbachev.
“The ghastly memories of Chernobyl and now Fukushima are too fresh and vivid to allow us to ponder any other alternative than ending our reliance on nuclear energy,” Mr Gorbachev adds.
Switzerland’s Federal Council intends to embark on a new energy policy that does not rely on nuclear power in the medium term. It has called for its existing five nuclear reactors to be phased out by the end of their natural lifespan, and to adopt a new Energy Strategy 2050 that centres on energy efficiencies, expansion of hydropower and new renewable energies, and, if required, fossil fuel-based electricity production.
“There is no doubt that we can use 100% renewable energy sources by 2050,” says Geneva-based Green Cross International President Alexander Likhotal. “The Fukushima disaster has launched an important race in capitals, factories and research facilities across the globe. It’s a high-stakes race that will determine which economies will be the clean energy/low-carbon superpowers. Switzerland has historic opportunity to lead the way.”
Stephan Robinson, from the Zurich-based Swiss chapter of Green Cross, says: “Nuclear power is not the answer to modern energy needs nor a solution for addressing climate change. We should not adopt measures that create even more problems.”
Green Cross International, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev, is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through a combination of high-level advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva and has a growing network of national organisations in over 30 countries.