Green groups pull out of UK nuclear debate

07 September 2007

[BBC News, Guardian Online, WWF, 7 September] A coalition of environmental groups including Greenpeace, Friends of The Earth and the World Wildlife Fund have pulled out of the UK government's consultation on the possibility of building new nuclear power plants on the eve of public meetings to discuss the issue. The groups - all of whom are renowned for their anti-nuclear stance - have accused the government of already making its mind up in favour of nuclear and have branded the process a "public-relations stitch-up". They allege that the information briefing pack prepared for the consultation, is "full of pro-nuclear opinion masquerading as fact". A spokesperson for Opinion Leader Research, the market research organisation contracted to convene the public meetings which take place on 8 September, denied the allegations, noting that the information being presented to the public comes from a variety of sources including Greenpeace and other environment groups, and is not structured in a "for or against nuclear" way. Business and Enterprise Secretary John Hutton said the government had made a preliminary view about the nuclear issue but did not have a closed mind. "I think the length of time we are putting into the consultation, the effort of trying to involve organizations like Greenpeace and others, has been unprecedented," he told the BBC. Earlier this year a challenge by Greenpeace resulted in a ruling that the process used in a 2006 consultation on energy policy - but not the outcome - was seriously flawed.

Further information

Friends of the Earth UK
World Wildlife Fund UK

WNA's Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom information paper

WNN: Consultation ruled "seriously flawed"
WNN: Gordon Brown positive on nuclear