IAEA Conference Announces More Nuclear Power Needed to Achieve Paris Climate Goals
UN Photo/R Marklin
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The International Atomic Energy Agency held its fourth Ministerial Conference in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency.

Delegates agreed that greater international investment and deployment of nuclear energy technology will be necessary to meet global climate targets.

Participants also underlined the need for enabling environments for nuclear energy, technological innovation, and new investment and ownership models to facilitate nuclear power expansion.

1 November 2017: Participants to the fourth Ministerial Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed that an expansion of nuclear power could improve energy security and reduce emissions related to climate change and local air pollution.

The conference president, Hamad Alkaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the IAEA, noted wide agreement among participants that an international increase in investment in nuclear power will be necessary if the world is to meet the objective of the Paris Agreement to limit of global temperature increase to well below 2° C. Alkaabi also noted convergence in a variety of areas, including: the need to create an enabling environment to facilitate the introduction and development of nuclear power and ensure its sustainability and safety; the fact that nuclear power is a safe, reliable and clean energy source; and that the expansion of nuclear power will be facilitated by innovations in technology design and investment and ownership models. He noted that it was also repeatedly mentioned that the future of nuclear power relies on broader public acceptance, which will require open transparent decision-making processes involving all stakeholders.

Participants agreed that an increase in investment in nuclear power will be necessary if the world is to meet the objective of the Paris Agreement.

According to IAEA’s press release, nuclear power currently provides 11% of global electricity, including one third of all low-carbon electricity. Participants noted that, while 6.5 million deaths are linked to air pollution each year, the operation of nuclear power plants emits neither greenhouse gases nor air pollution.

Organized by IAEA in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and hosted by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, the fourth IAEA Ministerial Conference was held 30 October to 1 November 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Attended by 700 ministers, policy makers and experts from 67 IAEA Member States and international organizations, the Conference focused on, among other issues: nuclear power and sustainable development; challenges to nuclear power infrastructure development; nuclear safety and reliability; and innovations and advanced nuclear technologies. [IAEA Press Release] [IAEA Pre Conference Press Release] [Conference Website]

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