Canada Opposes Renewable Energy, says Environmental Group

Canada should be condemned for opposing a recommendation to increase the use of renewable energy around the world, says the environmental group Sierra Club.

OTTAWA, Ontario, CA, 2001-07-24 [SolarAccess.com] Canada should be condemned for opposing a recommendation to increase the use of renewable energy around the world, says the environmental group Sierra Club. Canada and the United States will oppose a report on renewables that was produced by a task force of the G8 nations. The report was released Tuesday and will be presented to the G8 leaders in Italy this week. The recommendations include a goal of serving one billion people with renewables by 2010. Canada objects to the task force calling for phase-out of financing for nuclear power exports by state-owned export credit agencies, says Dave Martin of the Sierra Club of Canada. He is the author of the Canadian section of a report from non-governmental organizations from all G8 countries that condemns ECAs for financing the sale of nuclear reactors around the world. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is expected to use the Genoa summit to announce $30 million in Canadian funding for conversion of Russian nuclear weapons plutonium into nuclear reactor fuel. “Energy financing by state-owned export credit agencies should be shifted away from nuclear and coal projects to efficiency and renewable energy programs,” says Martin. “Canada should be condemned for opposing the recommendations of the G8 Renewable Energy Task Force.” “The nuclear industry is in decline, but it’s too early to dance on its grave,” he adds. “The Canadian government is fighting to continue state export financing and other nuclear subsidies. Canada’s pro-nuclear position puts it on the wrong side of the fence for fighting climate change and promoting green energy.” The NGO report examines nuclear funding by Canada, Japan, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Russia. It says the death of nuclear is being prolonged by extension of reactor permits and sales in developing nations that are promoted with generous financing from G8 export credit agencies. Of the 25 reactors under construction around the world, 14 are backed by US$10 billion in financing from G8 ECAs. The Sierra Club filed a legal suit against the government of Canada in 1997 after the federal Cabinet approved C$2 billion in financing for the export of two CANDU reactors to China through Canada’s Export Development Corporation.
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