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Greenpeace Rejects Nuke, Carbon Capture Technology

Greenpeace rejects the IEA's reliance nuclear and carbon capture technologies - Greenpeace shows how Japan can generate 60% of energy from renewables by 2050

Tokyo, Japan -- Today's publication of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) latest energy forecast, to coincide with the start of the G8 Energy Ministers meeting, should be welcomed for its recognition that half the world's energy could be supplied by renewable sources by 2050 said Greenpeace. However, the IEA's vision of increasing nuclear power by a factor of four and relying on carbon capture and storage to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets should be rejected as an expensive and dangerous distraction.

Greenpeace also launched today "Energy (R)evolution - A Sustainable Japan Energy Outlook," which shows how a combination of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency would provide a cost-effective pathway towards energy security with a minimal impact on the climate system. It demonstrates how Japan could be independent from volatile fossil fuel market fluctuations as well as the dangers of nuclear energy.

"A combination of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency is the smartest, safest and cheapest way to combat climate change and enhance energy security. While Greenpeace's energy scenario work and the IEAs forecast match in terms of the potential for renewable energy it is clear from our Energy [R]evolution scenario that nuclear power and carbon storage are not needed, and worse they divert funds from genuine climate solutions," SvenTeske energy expert from Greenpeace International and co-author of the study.

According to the Greenpeace scenario, Japan can produce more than 60% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050 making the country less dependent on imported fossil fuels and allowing for cheaper electricity. It also calls on the Japanese government to embrace a low-carbon alternative for the development of its energy sector ahead of the G8 energy minister's conference in Aomori.

"Various types of action in all sectors of society are needed to avert further increase of global warming. For governments a change of energy policy is at the top of agenda" says Manami Suzuki, Energy Expert from Greenpeace Japan. "Greenpeace urges G8 energy ministers to spend more time on how to shift their policies from dirty energy production toward clean and renewable futures."

"The Japan scenario analysed in the Energy [R]evolution report not only complies with global CO2 reduction targets but also helps to relieve the economic pressure on society. Increasing energy efficiency and shifting energy supply to renewable energy resources will reduce the long term costs for electricity by as much as 38%," concluded Teske.

NOTES

(1) The IEA outlined these findings in its new report "Energy Technology Perspectives 2008" (ETP 2008), launched to coincide with the start of the G8 Energy Ministers meeting.

According to the IEA, renewable energy can increase by factor six by the year 2050 and would than supply 50% of the global electricity compared to 18% today. However the study makes up the other 50 % of energy needs by increasing the use of nuclear energy and Carbon Capture Storage, both of which Greenpeace disagree with.

(2) "Energy (R)evolution - A Sustainable Japan Energy Outlook" was authored by Greenpeace and the Japanese Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP)

Renewable energy sources account for 3.2% of Japan's primary energy demand. About 11% of Japan's primary energy supply still comes nuclear and 85.8% from fossil fuels. Energy related CO2 emissions in Japan will decrease under the Reference Scenario by 8% by 2050, under the Energy [R]evolution Scenario they decrease from 1,135 million tonnes in 2005 to 275 million tonnes in 2050.

Without efficiency, Japan would face a significant increase in society's expenditure on electricity supply. The continuing growth in demand, the increase in fossil fuel prices and the costs of CO2 emissions will result in electricity supply costs nearly doubling from $92 billion per year today to $138 billion per year in 2050.


(3) Japan will host the G8 energy ministers meeting from June 6-8 2008 in Aomori, which is a preparatory meeting for July's G8 Toyako Summit. Main issues on this years G8 meeting will be the development of the world economy, environmental policy especially climate change and African development.

(4) The IEA expects the global electricity consumption increase more than 2.5 times by 2050, the Greenpeace Energy [R]evolution scenario, launched by Greenpeace in January 2007, shows that electricity consumption growth could only grow by 70%.

ENDS

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