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Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition: IAEA’s UN Energy Compact Unveiled


Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi unveiled the IAEA’s United Nations Energy Compact today, as the Agency joined more than 200 governments and organizations to date in announcing voluntary commitments of action towards achieving clean and affordable energy and net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

The pledges made under the Energy Compacts initiative launched by UN-Energy in 2021, include specific targets for driving progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) on ensuring global access to affordable, clean, reliable, modern and sustainable energy by 2030.

In video remarks shown at an UN-Energy SDG 7 Action Forum on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York today, Mr Grossi said the IAEA’s Energy Compact would provide capacity building for countries, particularly in the developing world, on energy planning and analysis so that they can chart their own national strategies, regardless of the technology involved. So far, over 135 countries and 20 international organizations have used IAEA analytical tools for sustainable energy planning. 

In addition, the IAEA will help countries to plan and operate nuclear power plants safely and securely. “Nuclear power is the world’s second largest source of low carbon electricity and provides power twenty-four hours day, seven days a week, rain or shine,” Mr Grossi said. “With renewables and nuclear working together, we can build an energy system that is not only clean and affordable, but also reliable and resilient.” 

The IAEA’s Energy Compact lays out how the Agency will provide nuclear power technological support, which also includes peer reviews and advisory services. This commitment also details the IAEA’s efforts to increase the number of women in the nuclear field through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP). Since its launch in 2020, the MSCFP has provided scholarships for more than 200 women from 93 countries to study towards Master’s degrees in nuclear-related subjects.

The Energy Compacts are a major outcome of the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE) that was held in September 2021 and was the first leader level meeting on energy conducted under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in 40 years. The IAEA has been closely involved in the HLDE, where UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a global roadmap for securing clean energy access and net zero emissions. Mr Grossi addressed the 2021 meeting through a recorded a video message.

“Together with the actions pledged in the Energy Compacts, this commitment will help us to achieve SDG7 and reach net zero,” Mr Grossi said of the IAEA’s pledge. “Acting together, we can secure a sustainable and prosperous future.”

Last update: 04 Nov 2022

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