The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Nuclear Petition Gathers 130,000 Signatures for Energy Freedom

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 16 February 2024

Citizens rally for the right to build nuclear plants, submitting a significant petition against the 2017 ban. Opposition voices concerns, sparking a national debate on energy security and environmental impact.

Nuclear Petition Gathers 130,000 Signatures for Energy Freedom

Swiss citizens are taking a stand with the “Electricity for All, Always” initiative, submitting approximately 130,000 signatures to advocate for the reversal of the 2017 ban on new nuclear power plants. The initiative, driven by the Swiss Energy Club and supported by various political and business groups, emphasizes the need for a mix of hydropower and nuclear energy for a reliable and eco-friendly power supply.

The call for action stems from Switzerland’s recent struggles with energy security, particularly during winter months, highlighting the country’s excessive reliance on foreign electricity. Proponents argue that alternative measures taken by the Federal Council, such as emergency power plants, not only impact the climate but also inflate electricity costs.

The initiative promotes a vision for Switzerland’s energy future that includes technological openness and the exploration of new power plant developments. Stressing the importance of meeting the net-zero target by 2050, supporters argue that nuclear power is indispensable for replacing fossil fuels with clean electricity.

However, the proposal faces significant opposition, with critics labeling it as a step backward to the “nuclear age.” The Greens, along with other environmental organizations, vow to fight any counter-proposal, advocating instead for a focus on energy efficiency and renewables. They highlight the safety risks associated with nuclear power plants and the long-term challenge of managing radioactive waste.

As Switzerland stands at a crossroads in its energy policy, the debate over the role of nuclear power in achieving a sustainable and independent energy future continues to intensify.

©Keystone/SDA

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