The debate around nuclear is a dangerous distraction from what we need to deliver climate action in Australia today: move rapidly to 100% renewable energy. 

Since Greenpeace first began, we have always fought – and will continue to fight – vigorously against nuclear reactors and weapons, because nuclear is an unacceptable risk to our environment, our oceans and to humanity. 

The fight against nuclear is part of Greenpeace’s DNA. In 1971, a small group of activists set sail to the Amchitka island off Alaska to try and stop a US nuclear weapons test. The money for the mission was raised with a concert, their old fishing boat was called “The Greenpeace”. Five months after the group’s mission, this early campaign against the dangers of nuclear was a success – the United States stopped the entire Amchitka nuclear test programme. 

Since those early days, Greenpeace has long campaigned against nuclear disarmament, spoken out against the historical atrocities committed in the Pacific around nuclear testing and responded to some of the most horrifying legacies of nuclear disaster. Events like Chernobyl and Fukushima are enduring reminders of the horrific consequences of the risks inherent in building nuclear reactors. 

This week, the fight against nuclear has come into focus here in Australia.  Many Australians would have seen Dutton’s nuclear fantasy splashed across newspapers. It is a fantasy because it is uncosted, state Premiers have ruled it out and not a single Australian community would be OK with a nuclear reactor or waste dump being built in their back yard.

There are countless reasons why nuclear will not, and should not, happen in Australia.

Instead, let’s see this nuclear thought bubble for what it really is a dangerous distraction from what we need to deliver climate action in Australia today: no new fossil fuels in gas, coal and oil, and a rapid shift to 100% renewable energy.

Australians want and need credible climate action from their elected leaders, but nuclear is not the answer. 

If the Federal Coalition wants to be taken seriously at the next election, they need climate policies to reduce pollution this decade. The Coalition is failing to deliver when spruiking doomed-to-fail technology like nuclear, backing in more toxic, polluting gas, and threatening to scrap renewable projects if elected. 

The choices that politicians make today will determine our climate future.

As the sunniest and windiest country on earth, Australia has the opportunity to be a renewable energy superpower. We should harness this opportunity and focus on affordable, viable clean energy like wind and solar.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific will continue to challenge this dangerous, unsuitable technology. We’ll keep fighting for no new fossil fuels like Woodside’s dangerous proposed Burrup Hub disaster, and champion cleaner, safer, affordable renewable solutions that will genuinely help reduce emissions at emergency speed and scale.