Recognition of nuclear energy's role in COP28 deal
December 15, 2023

Recognition of nuclear energy's role in COP28 deal

The 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) has ended in Dubai with a Global Stocktake -unanimously agreed by all parties- calling for a transitioning away from fossil fuels and an acceleration of zero- and low-emission technologies, including nuclear, World Nuclear News informs.

The text of the COP28 agreement says that the parties recognise that limiting global warming to 1.5°C "with no or limited overshoot requires deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions of 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035 relative to the 2019 level and reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050".

The agreement calls on parties to "contribute to global efforts, in a nationally determined manner, taking into account the Paris Agreement and their different national circumstances, pathways and approaches".

CP28 calls for a transitioning away from fossil fuels so as to achieve net-zero by 2050

Low-emission technologies, as nuclear

COP28 agreement calls for a transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, "in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net-zero by 2050 in keeping with the science".

In addition, it says there should be an acceleration in zero and low-emission technologies, "including, inter alia, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies such as carbon capture and utilisation and storage, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors, and low-carbon hydrogen production".

Transitional fuels can play a role in facilitating the energy transition while ensuring energy security, the agreement notes.

CO2 emissions from the life cycle

The agreement says there should be an acceleration in zero and low-emission technologies including renewables, nuclear…

End of the fossil fuel era

UN Climate Change said the agreement "signals the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era by laying the ground for a swift, just and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts and scaled-up finance".

"Whilst we didn't turn the page on the fossil fuel era in Dubai, this outcome is the beginning of the end," said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell in his closing speech. "Now all governments and businesses need to turn these pledges into real-economy outcomes, without delay."

Triplicar la energia nuclear en 2050_imagen Twitter Emmanuel Macron
Tripling nuclear energy by 2050. Image published in X (Twitter) by Emmanuel Macron

World Nuclear Association said this was the first time nuclear energy has been formally specified as one of the solutions to climate change in a COP agreement.

"This marks a 180° turn-around in the treatment of nuclear energy in the COP process, from the lone technology excluded from the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms to COP28's inclusion among a range of zero and low-emissions technologies," said World Nuclear Association Director General Sama Bilbao y León.

Tripling nuclear energy capacity by 2050

Moreover, during COP28, 24 countries backed a Ministerial Declaration calling for the tripling of global nuclear energy capacity by 2050. The heads of state, or senior officials, from Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK and the USA signed the declaration on 2 December, with Armenia and Croatia also signing up during the summit.

The declaration says the countries recognise the need for a tripling of nuclear energy capacity to achieve "global net-zero greenhouse gas/carbon neutrality by or around mid-century and in keeping a 1.5°C limit on temperature rise within reach".

Source: World Nuclear News

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