BASE Reports Back from Copenhagen Climate Change Summit
BASE Reports Back from Copenhagen
PDF's BASE Initiative just returned from Copenhagen, where we attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The delegation spent a week ensuring that the voices of communities impacted by the nuclear cycle were heard: that nuclear energy is not clean, green or renewable, and that it cannot be considered part of the solution to climate change.
Over the past several years, there have been a lot of talk of "peaceful uses of nuclear technology." This term has been used in the climate change debate as well as other international forums, such as the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. BASE was in Copenhagen to raise the voices of the communities who have to live with the burden of the uranium mines, enrichment plants, and the research, production, storage and waste facilities that are a part of the nuclear industry. For these communities, the nuclear cycle has never been, and will never be, "peaceful."
BASE went to Copenhagen prepared with a Position Paper entitled, "We Speak for Ourselves: Ruling Out the Nuclear Option." In this position paper, we outlined the main arguments against nuclear energy. The disproportionate health impacts is something that the BASE communities can speak to from personal experience. In addition to the health risks, the paper explains some of the common myths about nuclear energy: that it is safe, that it is carbon neutral, that it is cheap and that it is effricient.
The paper was the basis for a press briefing held at the Conference, which was covered by international media from several countries. BASE members also took part in panel discussions and independant interviews with media members from around the world. We were also able to network with and build relationships with US Climate Justice organizations as well as international NGOs working on nuclear issues.
While BASE shares the frustrations of many people coming out of the conference - that the process is far from democratic or transparent, that NGOs and civil society are not honored as key participants, that developed nations are not recognizing their responsibilities to the rest of the world - we consider our delegation to be a success. BASE was the only US group, and one of the few from anywhere that was raising the issue of nuclear energy. BASE was the only organization to hold a press briefing from inside the conference addressing this issue. All of this reinforces the importance of what BASE represents.
Through our work talking with and meeting with everyone from US grassroots leaders to the prince of Monaco, through our participation in panel discussions and strategy meetings, and the distribution of close to 400 position papers, we made our voices heard. And we will continue to make our voices heard as we prepare for next year's meeting in Mexico City.
For more images from our trip, please visit our Flickr site by clicking HERE.
To support the work of the BASE Initiative and to ensure that the communities most impacted by the nuclear cycle continue to have a voice in the debate, click HERE.
For video images of our delegation, including clips of our official press briefing, please come back to our site for upates.
BASE Delegate Dr. Mildred McClain of Citizens for Environmental Justice presents a gift to Claire Greensfelder of International Forum on Globalization, a long time friend and ally to BASE.
BASE delegate Earl Tulley of Dine CARE speaks on an international panel about uranium mining.
From L to R: BASE delegate Chief Gary Harrison of the Chickaloon Village, Prince Albert II of Monaco, BASE delegates Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins of the Imani Group and Earl Tulley of Dine CARE.