Is the French Government Turning a Deaf Ear to Youth Demanding Climate Warming Action?
European Youth are rallying against climate warming.
While the French government has decided to shutdown two operational nuclear reactors, we observe that it is hesitating to shutdown some coal-fired plants. The nuclear reactors are large capacity installations that produce electricity with no CO2 emissions while the coal-fired plants are, on the contrary, the installations that produce electricity with the largest CO2 emissions. Are we really intent on wanting to fight climate warming?
The quantitative influence of France on worldwide CO2 emissions may, indeed, seem marginal as compared to those of giants such as the USA or China. However, in reaction to the 1973 oil shock, even though such may not have been the purpose, France became the nation in which nuclear power provides the largest share (75%) of the electricity produced with major consequences on our CO2 emissions: a Frenchman emits twice less CO2 per capita than a German and 50% less than the average European.
Because of this situation, France has become one of the few countries worldwide that fully controls the nuclear industry technology, including spent fuel recycling and the processing of high activity wastes. In view of the role that this industry will have to play in the mitigation of climate warming - a contribution that the IPCC now recognizes - it will have a major responsibility: to develop all the benefits that the availability of inexpensive carbon-free electricity can offer worldwide.
Here is something to mobilize the youth.
The question is for the government to make clear and understandable choices and give priority to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the few domains where France can be a leader for the world.