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IAEA Forum Focuses on Role of Nuclear Technology in Tackling the Challenges of Climate Change


High-level experts from over 20 countries will meet in Vienna next week at the annual IAEA Scientific Forum to discuss the contribution of nuclear technology in the fight against climate change.

Climate change is one of today’s biggest environmental challenges. Its impacts are becoming more visible with frequent extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and the spread of plant and animal diseases and insect pests. Nuclear technology plays a vital role in addressing these challenges, and could become increasingly important in helping countries to meet climate goals.

The two-day event, Nuclear Technology for Climate: Mitigation, Monitoring and Adaptation, is open to the media and will be streamed live from the opening at 9:30 CEST on 18 September 2018. The Forum will take place in Board Room D of the C-Building of the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

The Forum will be opened by keynote speakers:

  • Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Jordan
  • Yafes Osman, Minister of Science and Technology, Bangladesh
  • Francis Mokoto Hloaele, Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Lesotho
  • Jianfeng Yu, Chairman of the Board, China National Nuclear Corporation
  • Bernard Bigot, Director General, ITER Organization
  • Hillary Diane Andales, Winner of the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge, Philippines

Discussions at the Forum will centre around three sessions:

Session 1: Role of nuclear power in limiting CO2 emissions will highlight how nuclear power can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while securing sufficient energy to drive economic growth. To meet climate change goals by 2050, 80 per cent of electricity will need to be produced by a low-carbon source. Today, nuclear power produces 10 per cent of the world’s electricity and a third of the world’s low-carbon electricity. The session will look at the potential for expanding nuclear power, including the role of innovation, along with challenges that could limit its growth.

Session 2: Monitoring and measuring change will focus on how nuclear techniques are advancing our understanding of climate change and its effects, such as ocean warming and acidification, and how they can further assist countries in managing key resources, such as water.

Session 3: Adapting to a changing environment will explore how nuclear techniques are used to breed more resilient crops, enhance animal productivity, address risks to food safety, and fight the growing threat posed by insect pests and animal diseases.

The Forum will conclude with a panel discussion including:

  • Jose Fidel Santana Nuñez, Vice Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Cuba
  • Paulo Eduardo Artaxo Netto, Professor, Applied Physics Department, Institute of Physics, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Sandisiwe Ncemane, Deputy President, Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa, South Africa

The detailed programme and full list of speakers can be found here. Some of the speakers are available for interviews. Please contact the IAEA Press Office for more details.


Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation to request it at UNIS Vienna.

Others should contact Michelle Gruensteidl for accreditation. Please email m.gruensteidl@iaea.org or call [+43-1] 2600-22048 or [+43-1] 2600-21273.

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Last update: 12 September 2018


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