First Nuclear Regional Referendum in Russia
On December 8, 1996, the population in the Kos~aoma District of Russia will have a chance to vote on whether or not they want a nuclear power plant (NPP) constructed in their region. A local environmental group, "In the Name of Life," has collected enough signature on the issue to call for a referendum. The question that the people will be asked is: "Do you agree with the siting and construction of the nuclear power plant in the Kostroma district?"
This is the first regional referendum of its kind in Russia, and as such is an historic test case. If successful, it could begin a series of similar referendums around the country, which could block the future development of nuclear power stations in Russia.
According to the Kostroma Energy Efficiency Fund the energy-saving potential of the regions is 20%, equal to 3 million KWh of power supply. The proposed NPP would provide 2 million KWh. The investment in the energy-saving is smaller and also more profitable than it is in an NPP. More information: Eduard Gismatullin, Greenpeace Russia, Moscow.
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New NGO Groups for Environment for Europe
At the recent NGO meeting Towards Sustainability in Europe; ECOs Cooperation from Sofia to Aarhus, in the NGO activity around the Environmental Ministers' Conference in Sofia, 1995 was evaluated, and new groups were formed to follow the next steps of the "Environment for Europe-process leading up to the Environmental Ministers' Conference in Aarhus, 1998.
The new NGO issue groups are:
· A group on public participation. It will follow on going negotiations towards a European Convention on Public Participation in Environrnental Decision-making.
· A biodiversity group to follow the European Biodiversity Strategy.
· A group to follow the work on the Environmental Action Plans For
the Central And Eastern European Countries.
· An energy and climate group.
· A traffic group.
· A group on consumption issues.
· An Agenda -21 group.
· A A group economic instruments to reduce environmental problems.
Energy & Climate Group
The 'Energy and Climate Group' will follow the development of the European Energy Conservation Strategy and other energy issues of the Environment for Europe Process. Presently, the group consists of eight NGO representatives. The coordinators are Gunnar Boye Olesen of INFORSE - Europe and Toni Vidan of Green Action Zagreb. The group is open to interested NGO representatives, and will primarily communicate via an e-mail list.
More information: INFORSE- Europe.