Monday, 26 April 2010
The Guardian, Monday 26 April 2010
Over the past month supporters of the UK's leading environment and development organisations have been mobilising in key marginal seats (The debate, 23 April). In their thousands they have been "asking the climate question" of prospective parliamentary candidates, demanding bold and urgent action on climate change. This is an issue no prospective MP – or future government – can afford to ignore. Our organisations, the Ask The Climate Question coalition, have designated today as Climate Change Day. We hope and expect that all political parties will focus on climate change today and put this issue at the core of their election campaigns – for the first time in history.
Whichever party forms the next government will have an unprecedented opportunity – and responsibility – to tackle climate change. Success would mean thousands of new green jobs, a rapid shift to clean and secure energy supplies for the UK and protection of vulnerable people in poor countries from the impacts of climate change.
Stephen Hale Green Alliance
Barbara Stocking Oxfam GB
John Sauven Greenpeace UK
Loretta Minghella Christian Aid
Chris Bain Cafod
David Nussbaum WWF-UK
Matthew Frost Tearfund
Graham Wynne RSPB
• David Miliband not only backs the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system of mass destruction (The election interview, 24 April), but along with his brother, energy secretary Ed, and Gordon Brown is a zealous supporter of expanding nuclear power. Last Thursday, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was the only one of the three party leaders in the television debate to reject new nuclear. Both David Cameron and Gordon Brown strongly endorsed nuclear new build – and hence find themselves aligned with the BNP on backing nuclear.
Under a Brown or Cameron administration, not only would the nuclear power stations they support be owned by foreign companies – France's EDF Energy and Germany's E.On – but be built using foreign companies, of which the leading contenders are Areva (France) and Westinghouse (US-Japan). Not only ownership and operation will be foreign, but 100% of the uranium for the nuclear fuel will have to be imported – from Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia, Namibia, Canada or the US.
Brown criticised Clegg's opposition to nuclear, challenging him to "get real". The reality is that the two biggest political parties are aligned on nuclear energy, with opposition to this expensive and heavily subsidised technology coming from the Lib Dems, Green party and the Scottish Nationalists.
Dr David Lowry
Posted by Graham Crawford at 07:16:00