Over 100 climate activists joined a demonstration in Berlin to show public support for keeping Germany’s nuclear power plants open in times of climate crisis and energy crisis. After all, wind and solar need a better companion than coal and natural gas.
On November 19, dozens of climate activists gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate and Bundestag. In the cold and rain, they sang, danced and got into conversations with passing Germans to talk about nuclear energy, the often misunderstood source of reliable low-carbon energy that may be entering its final days in a country of over 80 million.
On stage, technology historian Anna Veronika Wendland called for people to demand a clean energy system that uses renewables and nuclear. Anna is a member of RePlanet D-A-CH, our member organisation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which co-organised the event in Berlin, together with Mothers for Nuclear Deutschland, FOTA4Climate, Nuklearia, Voix de Nucléaire, Stimmen der KernEnergie, and Partei der Humanisten.
Activists from Poland, France, Belgium and Austria spoke about the absurdity of the German nuclear phase-out, especially now that Germany is relying even more on carbon-intensive coal and natural gas. For the activists, it’s obvious after two decades of the Energiewende [‘energy-turnaround’] that solar and wind need support. They argue it should come from nuclear power plants, which have provided Germans with clean electricity for many decades. 14-year-old Ariel from Opole, Poland was brave enough to give a speech on stage.
Atte Harjanne, deputy head of the Green Party in Finland, explained why nuclear should be seen as a resource-efficient source of clean energy. ‘The real contest,’ he said, ‘is not between nuclear and renewable energy. It’s about getting off fossil fuels as quickly as possible.’
The demonstration included a performance tug-of-war between ‘Team NetZero’, featuring a collaboration of clean wind, solar and nuclear, and the ‘Fossil Skunks’, featuring dirty coal, natural gas and oil. After a rough fight, everyone was relieved to see the winners: Team NetZero.