EFFORTS to limit the threat from climate change will be helped by a new era in nuclear energy, the DUP's Sammy Wilson said.
Welcoming the announcement by Business and Industry Secretary John Hutton that a new wave of nuclear power stations are to be constructed by 2020, paving the way for a new era of energy supply, Mr Wilson said the course was the "correct one".
Commenting on unpredictable supplies of fuel by Soviet and Middle East powers, Mr Wilson said: "It is merely good logic for the Government to commence a realistic and safer programme to counter this and other matters surrounding the all-important energy question."
He said he understood the reluctance by some to embrace the nuclear path, but Mr Wilson said "the reality is that we have no practicable substitute".
"Nuclear power is clean, effectively producing much fewer greenhouse gases, thus contributing to the fight against the danger of climate change.
"It is accepted that nuclear production does not directly produce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury or other pollutants associated with the combustion of fossil fuels," he added.
"Therefore, in the coming days and months, I hope that the environmental lobby groups will bear this in mind and not oppose the introduction of nuclear generated energy for the UK."