Incident at Ukraine nuclear power plant underscores dangers of war, OSCE PA economic and environmental leaders say

COPENHAGEN, 4 March 2022 – A fire that broke out at the site of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after overnight shelling recalls the dire environmental threats to humanity that can result from war, said Pere Joan Pons (Spain) and Gudrun Kugler (Austria), the Chair and Rapporteur, respectively, of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment.

The incident, which the International Atomic Energy Agency says is now contained but could have had disastrous consequences, underscores the need to expedite all dialogue and mediation efforts intended to immediately cease all hostilities in Ukraine, said the PA leaders.

“Although the fire at the nuclear power plant thankfully did not result in release of radiation, we might not be as lucky next time,” Rapporteur Kugler said. “If any nuclear reactors had been hit by shelling, the results could have been catastrophic for all life in the broader region. The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the unintended consequences that can result from war, which is also one of the most environmentally destructive activities known to humankind.”

The OSCE PA leaders also raised concerns about the impact that the war in Ukraine will have on a world economy that is still painfully recovering from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects that it could have on co-operation in other areas of concern for the planet.

“Just this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report that showed how the climate breakdown is happening faster than expected and warned that the window to take action is quickly closing,” said Chair Pons. “In a world that is already suffering the effects of climate change and still reeling from a two-year long pandemic, what we need is greater international co-operation and resolve, not deeper divisions and international conflict. There can be no green recovery, nor an effective transition to a more balanced, carbon-neutral and fair development model without global security.”

Chair Pons reiterated that the OSCE PA stands ready to support all efforts aimed at ending the conflict, saving lives and protecting our economies and environment.



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