Updated: Sep 8
Ia Aanstoot was 17 when she participated as a delegate to the COP27 climate conference. About an hour before the release of the final statement, Ia noticed that the draft called for an increase in “renewables” and “renewable energy” but made no reference to nuclear power. Thinking quickly, Ia called attention to the important omission and managed to have the final statement changed, calling for ‘low-emission’ sources. This is important, especially for developing nations needing funding to decarbonise; affordable small nuclear reactors can be an excellent way to move away from fossil fuels.
Ia takes the climate issue very seriously. For three years, she took part in the Friday school strikes initiated by Greta Thunberg.
Today, Ia is aiming her figurative sword at Greenpeace.
In 2022, the European Parliament voted to include nuclear energy in its "taxonomy" list of activities deserving of sustainable finance.
In April 2023, eight Greenpeace organisations decided to take the EU to court to demand that it remove nuclear energy from the list.
Ia says, ""I love Greenpeace. I respect them. I'm inspired by them. ... But sometimes you have to stand up to the people you love."
She finds Greenpeace's stand against nuclear energy “old-fashioned and unscientific”.
Ia says that “Greenpeace is stuck in the past fighting clean, carbon-free nuclear energy while the world is literally burning. We need to be using all the tools available to address climate change and nuclear is one of them."
Ia along with other young campaigners from Poland, Sweden, France, Finland and the Netherlands, are asking the EU Court of Justice to include them as an "interested party" in the lawsuit. If accepted, they will submit evidence that nuclear energy is safe, reliable and necessary.
"Greenpeace, stop fighting against nuclear power and take the fight where it belongs - against fossil fuels" implores Ia.
Greenpeace Finland has dropped its opposition to nuclear energy.
The UN has stated that International climate objectives will not be met if nuclear power is excluded.
You may have seen the article in The Guardian today. Or maybe the Germans saw it in Die Welt: We’re the young folks who ask you to please stop your opposition to carbon-free nuclear power.
As you now know, we have sent a request to the European Court of Justice, asking for entry in the legal battle you have started. We think it’s wrong that you want to reverse the EU Commission’s decision to recognise nuclear energy as a climate solution and include it in the EU taxonomy. We want to join this lawsuit on the side of the Commission in order to defend nuclear.
Dear Greenpeace, we support most of your agenda. Some of us still donate to your cause. We’re happy to join you on the streets protesting pollution and demanding action to save nature. But we’re simply tired of your outdated campaigns against nuclear power – a clean energy source the world needs urgently.
The wide media coverage about our request and our campaign, and the support we’ve been getting on social media, should tell you something. It should tell you that it’s time for you to reconsider your old assumptions.
You don’t have to love nuclear. We only ask you to accept the fact that nuclear is not the monster you’ve imagined it to be.
So, please, Greenpeace: Listen to us, young people, and focus on fighting the culprits, not the solutions.
Ia Aanstoot (18), Sweden
Filip Auvoja (17), Sweden
Freek van der Heide (23), the Netherlands Julia Galosh (22), Poland
Ariel Marchel (14), Poland
François Jaffré (24), France
Ellen Ojala (26), Finland