“Dear Greenpeace”: a campaign by young environmental activists against the NGO’s anti-nuclear stance

Greenpeace’s decision to sue the European Commission over nuclear power has aroused the wrath of young environmental activists, led by the Swede Ia Aanstoot. As the Greta Thunberg’s successors, she wants the NGO to stop its “old-fashioned ideology” and “unscientific opposition”.

Greenpeace has had a significant impact on energy choices in Europe. In recent years, the NGO has played a major role in debates within the European Commission, fighting against the inclusion of nuclear power in climate protection legislation. In particular, Greenpeace opposed the inclusion of nuclear power in the Taxonomy, a list of climate-friendly activities. However, it was included as a transitional energy source. In response, Greenpeace decided to sue the European Commission.

This position is heavily criticised not only by the nuclear community, which believes that all low-carbon solutions (nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, etc.) should be deployed to respond to the climate emergency, but also by a growing branch of young environmental activists. This is the case of 18-year-old Swedish activist Ia Aanstoot, who has decided to launch a campaign against the NGO.

Old-fashioned and unscientific opposition

Ia Aanstoot, who became involved in activism alongside Greta Thunberg, believes that Greenpeace’s work serves the interests of fossil fuels rather than climate action. For example, Germany, which shut down its last nuclear reactors in April 2023 for ideological reasons, is in the process of massively increasing its coal- and gas-fired generation capacity. So the campaigner, along with five other activists in Europe (Sweden, Poland, France, Finland and the Netherlands), has launched the “Dear Greenpeace” campaign. She is calling on the NGO to “abandon its old-fashioned and unscientific opposition to nuclear power and join us in the fight against fossil fuels”.

On the movement’s website, she explains: “Unlike some of the people that run Greenpeace, it’s my generation that will have to live with the consequences of climate change. In my experience young people tend to be open minded to all solutions, including nuclear”. She goes on to say that she refers to science and the advice of the IPCC: “My generation trusts respected bodies like the IPCC who say that we can’t meet the Paris climate goals without nuclear energy. Put simply, we trust the science”.

Testifying against Greenpeace

Beyond these statements, the campaigner is taking action. She has applied to the Court of Justice of the European Union for her movement to become an “interested party” in the forthcoming lawsuit between the European Commission and Greenpeace. If this application is successful, this young generation will be able to testify in this trial in favour of the use of nuclear energy. A petition, organised by Replanet, aims to support the Aanstoot initiative, which reads as follows: “Drop your old-fashioned and unscientific opposition to nuclear power, and join us in the fight against fossil fuels instead !”. ■

By Ludovic Dupin

Image: “Dear Greenpeace” campaign with Ia Aanstoot – ©Replanet/DearGreenpeace