7 Days in Cancun - PDF's BASE Program Attends Climate Change Conference
PDF’s BASE Initiative sent a six-person delegation to Cancun, Mexico to participate in the ongoing NGO activity around the COP 16 Climate Change meetings. This trip marked the second year BASE sent community members from frontline nuclear facility communities to these UN hearings.
The delegation’s goals for this year were to learn who and what is the state of the grassroots global movements for climate justice, to figure out how BASE would interact with these groups, and where to effectively advocate for a nuclear free future. As with the delegation to Copenhagen last year, we found that BASE was really the only US based group bringing a clear non-nuclear message to the climate justice movement. It’s as if the desperation felt by many about the future of life as we know it has led people to accept that nuclear power must be part of a carbon-free future.
Nothing is farther from the truth, however, as we understand that nuclear energy is neither clean, safe, nor carbon neutral, nor is it proven technology without risk, nor is there any successful plan any where in the world for safe, secure long term storage of nuclear waste.
With all of these complexities and inaccuracies, it is still shocking to us that the international movement is so quiet about nuclear issues. From the perspective of the BASE communities, this has to change. Our work within BASE is to bring that change about, leading to a more informed national and international discussion about the perils and problems of nuclear energy, and to build a plan for the future that does not include nuclear energy as a ‘solution’ to climate change.
Our best opportunities seem to be with our BASE youth, who were able in Cancun to make connections and plans for the next year leading to COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. Along with several interviews with ongoing press activities in Cancun, the delegation was part of the international delegation in an all day March sponsored by Via Campesina, we attended workshops and forums, and met with various delegates to the formal process.
BASE will assess this recent interaction with the international NGO community, and after the first of the year we will begin creating and implementing a plan leading to an even deeper engagement in the UN Conference of the Parties 17 (COP 17), and to continue building relationships with those entities willing to carry our non-nuclear message leading to next year’s meeting in South Africa.