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IAEA Participates in COP21 as One UN for Climate Action

UN COP 21

The IAEA is collaborating with other UN bodies on climate action and sustainability. (Credit: UNFCCC)

The IAEA is participating in side events at the Paris Climate Conference, COP21, over the next two weeks, and is also hosting an exhibit in the One UN Exhibit Area themed “Sustainable Industries and Energy.” Taking place from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris, France, the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will give countries the opportunity to present their climate change strategies and negotiate an international agreement.

Governments are in agreement to set the target below 2°C as the upper limit for the 21st century temperature rise, in comparison to pre-industrial levels. According to the UNFCCC, to achieve this goal, halting the growth in global emissions and putting them on a downward path while decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions is seen as a necessity. There is an acceptance that sustainable global development in the future is dependent on providing energy services and access to clean energy for all.

“Many countries expect nuclear power to play an important role in their energy mix in the coming decades. It is one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide among energy sources, considering emissions through the entire life cycle,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in his Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors last week.

Nuclear science can also play a significant role in addressing the effects of climate change, and in helping communities to adapt to its consequences. The IAEA has worked with researchers worldwide to devise models to help predict future climate conditions and to provide information on ocean acidification. The Agency has also assisted countries in developing new food crops that are resistant to drought and other conditions caused by a changing climate. It works with countries and regions to use nuclear techniques to manage limited water resources.

“It is important that the contributions that nuclear science and technology can make to combating climate change are recognized,” Mr Amano said at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in New York, held in September this year.

Nuclear energy can play a key role in national strategies to mitigate climate change and keep 2°C within reach to achieve the global transformation to a low emission, climate resilient economy. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nuclear energy capacity would have to grow in order to limit global warming to 2°C. Read more in the IAEA report: Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2015.

UN Side Event: Pathways to Sustainable Energy for a Climate Friendly World

Monday, 07 December 2015, at 18:30-20:00

Le Bourget site, Observer Room 02

The event will bring together the experiences of UN organizations to reflect on the development pathways for ensuring access to affordable and modern energy while achieving GHG emissions reduction, other environmental, health and economic co-benefits. Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, will speak at this event.

IAEA/NEA Side Events: Why the Climate Needs Nuclear Energy

Thursday, 10 December 2015, at 13:15-14:45

Friday, 11 December 2015, at 11:15-12:45

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  (OECD) Workspace, Blue Zone, Hall 3, Plot 7, next to OIF-IFDD and Germany

The side event co-hosted by IAEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency, a specialized agency within the OECD (OECD.NEA) offer another opportunity to learn more about the contribution of nuclear energy to emissions abatement and sustainable development. At this event, participants can also pose questions to the experts.  More information is available on the OECD/NEA website here.

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Last update: 20 Jul 2018

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