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Nuclear lobby groups Foratom and Romatom propagandise for nuclear – at “climate-friendly” event

Nuclear lobby forgot to invite critics to Romania’s EU debate, EU Observer   By PETER TEFFER BRUSSELS, TODAY, 10 Mar 19, 

Some 75 people showed up last month at an event organised at Romania’s EU embassy – its so-called ‘permanent representation’ in Brussels.

The topic was ‘How to create a climate-friendly future in Europe’.  The sponsors were Foratom and Romatom, two nuclear lobby organisations.

Foratom calls itself “the voice of the European nuclear industry” and represents 15 national nuclear associations, including Romatom, which is a lobby group representing Romanian nuclear companies.

Their message was clear.

It was written on a banner next to the speakers’ lectern at the event on 19 February, which said: “Nuclear energy is essential to an EU low-carbon future”.

The nuclear lobby gave its message extra weight by attaching it to the six-month Romanian presidency of the EU Council.

But there was one thing missing – anyone with an even mildly critical view of nuclear energy.  I have not received any invitation and as far as we can see nobody in our office has,” Klaus Rohrig, a green campaigner, told EUobserver afterwards.

Rohrig is the EU climate and energy policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, one of the leading environmental NGOs in the ‘Brussels bubble’.

“It is very likely that one of us would have gone to such an event [if there had been invitations], given its troubling focus on nuclear [energy] in the context of the EU’s long-term strategy,” said Rohrig……

Nuclear energy is the most expensive form of electricity production and has massive environmental costs,” Sebastian Mang, EU climate and energy policy adviser at Greenpeace, another leading NGO, told EUobserver.

But Mang also missed the Romanian EU presidency event because Greenpeace was also not invited.

“When discussing climate change people protecting the environment must have a voice,” said Mang.

EUobserver and a handful of other media were invited, according to a list of participants, which was distributed at the event. The invitation came in an email sent from a Foratom domain name.

But the debate was not publicly announced on the Romanian permanent representation’s website, nor on the websites of Foratom or Romatom.

The participants list – which also included people who registered, but who did not show up – consisted of 32 percent of people working for private companies.

Some 28 percent of registered participants came from one of the member states’ permanent representations in Brussels, while another 12 percent came from national ministries.

Around 13 percent of registrations came from employees of the European Commission.

There were no registrations from civil society representatives, unless one counted the handful of representatives of non-profit nuclear energy research institutes……..

The event was held just two weeks after CEO published a report on lobbying via the temporary EU presidencies, in which it said corporate sponsorship of rotating presidencies “now appears to be standard”.

The presidencies were “a target for lobbies both before and during the presidency, as a way to influence its agenda and to curry favour”, the report said.

EU member states have also use the presidency to promote national industries, the report added.

Climate scenarios

The idea of the nuclear lobby event at the Romanian embassy was to frame nuclear energy as part of the “Solutions for a 2050 carbon-free Europe”, as the meeting was titled……..

The lobby-sponsored event focused on scenarios and modelling, but did not address public attitudes towards nuclear power. ……. https://euobserver.com/institutional/144341

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March 10, 2019 - Posted by | EUROPE, spinbuster

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