Although no formal agreement was officially reached at the Kyoto Protocol meeting in November 2000 (COP 6) one thing nations did agree on was language that excluded nuclear power from receiving greenhouse gas emissions reduction credits through the Clean Development Mechanism of the Protocol. This language states: "Annex I Parties will declare that they will refrain from using nuclear facilities for generating certified emission reductions under the CDM." A similar restriction was placed on the Kyoto mechanism known as JI or Joint Implementation.
In a letter to world leaders, more than 70 U.S. organizations, as well as international groups and hundreds of individuals, demanded a continued expression of the majority will at COP 6 which prevented developed and newly independent states (NIS) from receiving greenhouse gas reduction credits for building nuclear power reactors. The letter stated, "If nuclear power is subsidized through the Kyoto mechanisms it will destroy the environmental integrity of the Protocol, and divert resources from those clean, safe technologies that are the real solution to climate change."
The group letter added, "Nuclear power gives rise to enormous environmental and social problems such as production of radioactive waste, the risk of catastrophic accidents and the threat of nuclear proliferation."
Although the initial round of COP6 climate change talks in The Hague last November resulted in a basically unanimous international agreement that nuclear power would be rejected as an appropriate technology to address climate change, that agreement never was signed. Thus, environmental groups across the world are pressing to ensure that the new round of global warming talks picks up where the last left off, and explicitly excludes nuclear power from any role in addressing climate change.
"Inclusion of nuclear power in the protocol is too high a price to pay for U.S. involvement in the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. is trying to sabotage effective measures to address climate change anyway. Other countries truly care about addressing global climate change in the most efficient and effective way, and we urge them to continue to exclude nuclear power from the Kyoto Protocol. As the U.S. repeatedly stated last November, nuclear power is dangerous, uneconomic, has unsolved problems with radioactive waste and causes proliferation problems. It would be folly to add it to Kyoto now." stated Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Washington-based Nuclear Information & Resource Service.