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Call for Papers: IAEA Net Zero Challenge


The deadline to submit papers for the IAEA Net Zero Challenge is 16 August 2021. The Challenge seeks policy recommendations to answer the question: How can nuclear energy alongside other low-carbon sources help your country or region to achieve their net zero targets? The top five entries will have an opportunity to present their papers at the IAEA. The winning entry will be invited to attend a side event during COP26 in Glasgow.

The IAEA Net Zero Challenge is aimed at encouraging young people to take an active role in developing policies that concern their future. Concrete and innovative policy recommendations are needed for an accelerated transition to net zero economy. Young people should be involved in their development, as the new generation’s innovative, creative visions and ideas can help define and build a better future for all.

The Challenge invites people aged from 18 to 35 to propose policy recommendations, which focus on creating an enabling environment for increased use of nuclear power and other low-carbon energy technologies. Interested participants are called to submit their proposals in the form of a paper describing their policy recommendations and explaining how implementation of such policies would accelerate progress of their country or region to net zero. Participants can prepare and present their projects individually or in teams.

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation and creativity: The submitted work should be innovative, combining in-depth analysis, background text with necessary explanations and concise policy recommendations.
  • Research: Relevance, quality and reliability of policy analysis, including appropriate referencing.
  • Logic: The depth of thinking behind the policy recommendations and its logical structure.
  • Originality: Submission should be an original.

Nuclear power can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, all while supporting sustainable development and fulfilling growing energy demands. The IAEA supports countries by providing guidance for safe, secure, sustainable and safeguarded nuclear technology and in formulating their national energy strategies and policies.

“Many countries tell us that they are keen in maintaining their nuclear power programmes or launching new ones because they want clean, sustainable, baseload energy they can rely on,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. “Their emphasis is on how nuclear energy tackles both energy security and climate change.”

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