Yesterday on Le Figaro was a very interesting article pertaining to the Australian government’s interest for the cleanest energy source regarding greenhouse gases.
This country, which didn’t ratify the Kyoto Protocol is facing one of the most serious droughts it ever witnessed. Mr. John Howard, the current Prime Minister of Australia proposed, if he was re-elected this year, to replace coal-fired plants by nuclear power plants in order cut greenhouse gases ( GHG ) emissions of his country.
This is done in order to respond to the growing concerns of climate change in Australia as this country has been facing an important drought for six years. This lack of rain has nefarious impacts on large portions of the local economy such as the agriculture.
The opposition has been claiming for years to cut greenhouse gases emissions by 60 percent in order to avert global warming. However, their solutions do not include nuclear energy to do so.
One needs to know about Australia is that nuclear power is quasi taboo there. All local ecologists are against it. According to Mr. Peter Garrett, Shadow Minister for climate change, who is also known as the former leader of the rock band Midnight Oil :
“Instead of articulating how Australia will address climate change, those on the other side, by embracing the nuclear option, want to replace the problem of the increasing level of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, with another problem—namely, the creation of long-life radioactive waste.”
Source on Mr. Peter Garrett’s homepage
To me, nuclear energy can be one of the solutions Australia can use to decrease its local GHG emissions. It can also work on carbon capture and storage as the country is largely dependant on coal for its electricity generation. Other solutions include energy efficiency and the use of energy efficiency.
With all these four solutions there is no doubt Australia, and many other countries, will solve the problem of climate change.
Sources, Le Figaro articles (in French ) :