Greta Thunberg says it will be “a mistake” for Germany to change off its nuclear power plants if meaning the country must burn more climate-wrecking coal.
The German government remains to be debating the long run of its nuclear plants, long set to be shut down this 12 months, given the spectre of a looming energy crisis on account of the war in Ukraine.
The climate activist told German public broadcaster ARD that it was “a really bad idea to concentrate on coal when this [nuclear power] is already in place.”
But she acknowledged within the interview, aired today, that there was a powerful debate over the difficulty in Germany.
Asked whether it will be higher for the planet if Germany keeps its three remaining nuclear plants going, Thunberg responded: “If we’ve them already running, I feel that it’s a mistake to shut them down in an effort to concentrate on coal.”
Pressed by programme host Sandra Maischberger on whether she thought the nuclear plants ought to be closed down as soon as possible after the present energy crunch passes, Thunberg said “it depends. We don’t know what’s going to occur after this.”
Is Germany going to shut down its nuclear plants?
The 19-year-old’s comments come as Germany’s three-party governing coalition argues over the potential for suspending the country’s nuclear phaseout.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a member of the anti-nuclear Green party, has said keeping the reactors running would do little to tackle a gas shortage.
He recently suggested that two of the plants could exceptionally operate until April but opposes running them longer for safety reasons. Habeck has individually approved reactivating several coal and oil-fired power plants to make sure energy supplies following Russia’s decision to cut natural gas deliveries to Europe.
Environmental activists warn that Germany risks defaulting on its climate goals by burning more fossil fuels, while conservative lawmakers say the federal government should use all available means to generate energy given the tense supply situation and high prices.
Thunberg’s nuclear comments were welcomed by libertarians and right-wing German politicians who’ve previously been dismissive or sharply critical of her activism.
Germany should concentrate on renewables, says Greta
The teenager, who’s currently ending highschool, said Germany’s decision to depend on coal plants showed “what happens if you find yourself too hooked on these sorts of fossil fuels.”
She slammed plans to speculate in recent fossil fuel infrastructure and said the main target should as a substitute be on expanding renewable energy. The German government insists that recent gas plants should be able to using clean hydrogen and that it’s boosting wind and solar energy production.
Thunberg noted that politicians in some countries, corresponding to Sweden, are against suggesting that folks should save energy, regardless that this might lower prices.
Energy-saving campaigns have a job to play too
“I do know that in Germany persons are talking about saving energy,” she said. “But in Sweden it’s completely prohibited to speak about using less energy really, because then people say, ‘Oh no, that is communism and so forth.’ So it’s completely insane.”
Thunberg, who was promoting her recent book on climate change, said she doesn’t imagine there’s a single silver bullet to resolve the issue, but that as a primary step it is important for people to recognise the enormity of the crisis that humanity faces from rising temperatures.
“I’m realistic because if we do the things that we’d like to do, we will avert this catastrophe,” she said of the long run. “But when we don’t, then we could have to suffer the results. So it’s as much as us.”