Shoe protest by Extinction Rebellion over Sizewell C plant
PUBLISHED: 18:01 09 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:20 09 August 2020
Environmental action group Extinction Rebellion has held a protest on the beach at Sizewell against the planned expansion of the nuclear power station.
The group laid out pairs of shoes in the form of its ‘XR’ logo in the sand to represent what it says will be future lives devoid of wildlife and a stable climate due to the planned construction of Sizewell C.
Opponents of Sizewell C say that if it is built it will devastate the local environment, which includes an Area of Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest surrounding nearby RSPB Minsmere.
The protest toook place on Sunday August 9 and Extinction Rebellion East of England spokesperson Rachel Smith-Lyte said 15 members had taken part in the action.
“There were some members of the public on the beach who saw what we were doing and some of them were genuinely interested in what we were doing and why.”
Ms Smith-Lyte said shoes have previously been used by the group at the Paris climate COP21 convention in 2015 to signify lives it says are at risk from unchecked climate change.
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“We felt we had to do something to engage wider public debate on this important issue – so especially crucial for this sensitive special area,” she said.
“It’s fair to say we feel that not enough people realise the serious implications this construction would have on both people and wildlife.
“Also, we have much milder winters than before, so why is it you never hear a public debate around using less energy as well as introducing more truly renewable energy such as wind, solar and tidal?”
Extinction Rebellion is opposed to nuclear energy and believes it is especially dangerous to site a nuclear power station on the coast because of the risk from coastal erosion.
However environmental scientists say coastal erosion would not jeopardise Sizewell C even if nightmare worst-case scenarios for flooding come true.
The Lowestoft-based Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, which is part of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said even extreme climate change and an extreme storm, with the biggest possible waves would only lead to a “very small amount of water” coming over the defences planned to keep the station safe.
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