About half of Germans say nuclear energy should remain an option in climate policy
Clean Energy Wire
A slight majority of respondents from Germany in a survey on the future of nuclear power in climate policy conducted by pollster YouGov in several European countries, have said the country should not rule out using the technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. About one in five respondents (22%) said nuclear power is “very important” in the fight against global warming and should be given equal weight to renewables, while almost another third (31%) said options regarding the technology should “generally” be kept open and nuclear power could be used to a small degree. Twenty-eight percent of respondents fully rejected nuclear power, which makes Germany most sceptical among the surveyed countries of the technology together with Denmark and Italy, where 37 percent and 28 percent were opposed, respectively. The country most in favour of nuclear power was France, where three-quarters were generally open to it. Only nine percent in France rejected nuclear completely, whereas 45 percent said it should rank equal with renewables in climate action. High levels of approval for nuclear as a climate policy tool were also found in Spain (40%) and Sweden (43%).
Germany will shutter its last nuclear power plant at the end of next year, concluding a decades-long struggle by the anti-nuclear movement that gave rise to the Green Party and other environmental groups in the 1980s. Resisting calls to reconsider the exit plans that were initially launched by a Social Democrat (SPD)-Green Party government in the year 2000 and ultimately confirmed by a conservative CDU/CSU-Free Democrat (FDP) government in 2011, nuclear reactor operators and policymakers have repeatedly made clear in recent months that the country does not plan to return to using nuclear power or even delay the phase-out.