"Greenpeace is stuck in the past fighting clean, carbon-free nuclear energy while the world is literally burning."
Young climate activist Ia Anstoot believes that the old guard at Greenpeace, one of the world's most prominent environmental groups, should stop its anti-nuclear vendetta, The Guardian reports. And to plead her case, she's willing to go to court.
"I'm an 18 year old school striker from Sweden," Anstoot states on her cause's website, "and I'm taking legal action to challenge Greenpeace over their opposition to climate-saving nuclear energy in Europe."
Greenpeace, no strangers to controversy, challenged the European Union's decision to classify nuclear power as a form of green energy this year, filing a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice in April. Under this taxonomy, nuclear is considered on par with solar and wind in being a sustainable — and thereby incentivized — investment.
In the eyes of the environmental group — which got its start protesting nuclear testing in the 70s and has zealously crusaded against nuclear power ever since — the EU's classification is just glorified "greenwashing," or a pernicious measure to divert funds from renewable energy.
Anstoot sees it differently.
"Over a third of the clean energy in the EU is nuclear power, so Greenpeace's motion to get rid of it is really harmful, I think," she told The Guardian.
"Greenpeace is stuck in the past fighting clean, carbon-free nuclear energy while the world is literally burning," she added. "We need to be using all the tools available to address climate change and nuclear is one of them."
In response, Anstoot, along with a small team of other young activists, have formed a campaign called Dear Greenpeace.
Its first move? Vying to enter Greenpeace's court case as an "interested party." If Anstoot's application to the EU Court is accepted, she, with the support of climate scientists, will be able to testify in nuclear power's favor.
Public opinion on nuclear power seems to be shifting, especially as the grim reality of climate change becomes more obvious by the day. Anstoot boils the seeming schism down to a generational change.
"It nearly feels like being anti-nuclear is a question of identity for these older environmentalists," she said.
"These old issues are ones that nuclear has mostly moved past, and also the global situation has changed," she added. "In the 60s and 70s during the anti-nuclear protests, the climate crisis was not as much of a concern as it is today."
And indeed, Anstoot is far from alone in her generation. The biggest face in young activism, fellow Swede Greta Thunberg — whose school protests Anstoot attended — cooled her stance on nuclear power last year, arguing that nuclear plants in Germany should be kept running — at least in place of coal.
More on nuclear energy: Nuclear Fusion Startup Gets Funding for Twisty-Looking Reactor
Share This Article