187 Countries Agree on Climate Change Roadmap

IAEA Hosts Nuclear Power Side Event at UN Conference

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Bali conference. (Photo: UN)

Countries have agreed on a so-called Bali Roadmap - a framework of a new agreement - to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at the conclusion of a two-week conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia. At the conference, 187 countries called for continued action to address the negative effects of climate change. This includes implementing methods to reduce GHG emissions, identifying and deploying climate-friendly technology, and allocating funds for more climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Bali conference brought together high-level government representatives with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.

The IAEA acted as a UN observer during the conference, serving as a resource for delegations during the talks on a variety of issues. The Agency, through its laboratories, its Department of Nuclear Energy, and Department of Nuclear Science and Applications, supports and contributes to climate change studies and assessments on mitigation of GHG emissions. It also advocated its position that nuclear energy could play an important role in future strategies to reduce emissions.

"In the context of the UN climate change discussions, we have presented nuclear power as having strong potential for reducing future carbon emissions," said H.-Holger Rogner, IAEA Head of Planning and Economic Studies. "Nuclear power presents a relatively carbon-free energy option, but has its own bag to carry in terms of finance, waste disposal and political acceptance."

The Agency also hosted a side-event in Bali on how the IAEA can aid Member States in the development of their own peaceful nuclear power programmes. Entitled Nuclear Power Prospects and IAEA Assistance for Interested Developing Countries, the presentation touched upon nuclear program implementation for States interested in launching a nuclear power programme. Indonesia´s National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) also participated in the side event and gave a presentation on the country´s developing nuclear power programme. Over 120 people attended the IAEA event.

The Bali talks represent the first in a series of meetings planned to take place over the next two years. The discussions were the first steps that parties hope will lead to a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol (which includes emission reduction obligations for industrialized countries), and many of the more contentious issues are expected to be worked through later in the process.

A deadline of 2009 has been set for an end to negotiations, with a plan to bring a new agreement into force by 2013. The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The two-week talks began on 3 December in Bali, Indonesia and concluded on Saturday, 15 December.

Last update: 10 September 2014