Nuke plan a sham!

Key Issues: 

The Nation (Daily Express) 1 April 2008

By Kamol Sukin 

Spend billions on safe, clean energy instead, says Greenpeace Environmental fighters Greenpeace Southeast Asia disrupted yesterday's Bangkok Climate Change Talks, demanding that Thailand scrap plans to build nuclear-power plants.

The group says the government will waste billions on the plants that could be better spent on "alternative energy sources".

Activists camped outside the United Nations Conference Centre venue for the international summit aimed at saving the planet from global warming.

Greenpeace campaigner Thara Buakhamsri says the government's nuclear-power sales pitch - that it's environmentally friendly - is bogus.

Meanwhile, environment ministry chief Saksit Tridej says Thailand should be paid for its forests. It wants the world to give it carbon credits for its trees. This idea will be at the top of the country's agenda for the five-day Earth-rescue convention.

Saksit says while credit for forest preservation and management is "complicated and difficult in practice, we hope the Bangkok Talks will be convinced to make its implementation more flexible".

Thailand will crow about its forest conservation and ask for carbon credits in return.


Monetary value

These credits are worth money. Greenhouse Gas Manage-ment Public Organisation director Sirithan Pairojborriboon says the forest-credit plan might just fly. Forests are both a source and a sink for carbon.

This country has just 15 clean development mechanisms registered with the UN climate change people and another 27 in the pipeline, Most are energy-from-waste stations.

But, Climate Action Network Southeast Asia activist Wanan Permpibul says the forest idea is wrong. Wanan wants Thailand to seek funding from the UN to pay for energy technology transfer and support.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change chief Yvo de Boer says the world is running out of time to set new emission controls.

"We have just one and half years in which to complete negotiations on what will probably be the most complex international agreement that history has ever seen," de Boer says. "And I'm confident that it can be done."

Scientists agree the world needs to stabilise emissions in the next 10 years and slash them by 50 per cent by 2050 to prevent temperatures from triggering devastating changes in the environment.