Government talks with EDF over Sizewell in stark contrast to PM’s environment pledge

Monday 14 December 2020

 Minsmere RSPB Reserve, World War ll defences and dunes.


Boris Johnson will fail in his first major domestic test over its declared commitment to the environment if talks with EDF to build the Sizewell C power station go ahead.

If allowed to go ahead Sizewell C could have devastating consequences for nature. The build could destroy Sizewell Marshes, a protected site. Animals like otters, water voles, barbastelle bats, natterjack toads and marsh harriers could lose their homes, and toxic chemicals and up to 3 million dead fish could be pumped into the sea each year.

As one of only three sites in England, to be granted the European Diploma for Protected Area award, RSPB Minsmere is one of the most nature rich places in the UK. Yet the threat from Sizewell C would be in direct contrast to the Government’s recent commitment to protect 30% of the UK’s land by 2030 to boost biodiversity. If EDF were to be given permission to build a brand-new power station slap bang on the border of a globally important wildlife haven, the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust believe that, contrary to the ambition set out by this Government, nowhere in the UK is safe anymore. 

The Government has stated that we are in an ecological emergency as well as a climate emergency and it simply cannot afford to waste taxpayer’s money destroying flagship reserves which mean so much to wildlife and people.

The build will take over ten years to complete and miles of countryside could be lost to the infrastructure needed to support the new power station. The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust have submitted an extensive summary of concerns about the impacts on wildlife and state that Sizewell C must not go ahead.

The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust have waited for over a decade for EDF Energy to show them evidence that RSPB Minsmere won’t be irrevocably damaged if the energy giant builds Sizewell C. The charities have not seen the evidence from EDF that Sizewell C can be built without detrimentally impacting internationally and nationally important landscapes, habitats and species of the Suffolk coast, at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, Sizewell Belts SSSI, and beyond. 

The RSPB’s and Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s new #LoveMinsmere e-action has seen more than 50,000 people from around the UK step up and take action in a little over two weeks, calling to protect RSPB Minsmere and Sizewell Marshes from a new nuclear development at Sizewell C.

Adam Rowlands, Area Manager at the RSPB  “Seeing over 50,000 people already showing support is amazing, that’s why it is crucial that people know that Sizewell C is not a done deal. There is still opportunity for you and I, everyone, to influence the decision on Sizewell C. The Government has stated that we are in an ecological emergency as well as a climate emergency and it simply cannot afford to waste taxpayer’s money destroying flagship reserves which mean so much to wildlife and people. As a result, we still need you to take part in our action at loveminsmere.org to have the biggest influence we can in the planning process. It’s your voice that can make a difference.”

Ben McFarland, Head of Conservation at Suffolk Wildlife Trust says, "It's fantastic that so many people are showing their concerns for wildlife. This development if allowed to go ahead would have an immediate impact on the fragile coast and its rare and important wildlife. It is not the right solution to sacrifice nature at this scale and particularly at this time of climate and ecological emergency. Its impact on one of the UK's most important areas for wildlife is just too great."

Supporters can take action to demonstrate that nature must be protected at loveminsmere.org 

Last Updated: Monday 14 December 2020

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