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IAEA to Host Nuclear Energy Events in the Run Up to the Pre-COP26 Climate Meeting


The IAEA will host three virtual events in connection with the Pre-COP26 climate meeting in Italy this autumn, the final ministerial gathering before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November. The IAEA webinars will highlight nuclear power’s vital role in decarbonizing energy production as well as the importance of engaging and empowering young people in the transition to net-zero energy systems.

The events are part of the All4Climate initiative launched by COP26 co-host Italy in collaboration with the World Bank and the participation of the city of Milan and the Lombardy Region. All4Climate seeks to foster dialogue on the challenges presented by the climate crisis and to help deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

“Given that it provides almost a third of the world’s low-carbon electricity, nuclear power needs to be at the table where energy solutions to the climate crisis are discussed,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. “We are very pleased that our events have been included in the official All4Climate calendar. It reflects the continuous work by the IAEA on this important topic, and the events themselves will provide timely input to global discussions about energy and climate change ahead of COP26 in November.”

The Pre-COP preparatory meeting customarily precedes COP meetings). Held in Milan from 30 September to 2 October, this year’s Pre-COP is expected to host ministers and delegations from more than 40 countries, representatives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat and other stakeholders in the fight against climate change and the transition to sustainable development. They will discuss potential political roadblocks to living up to the world’s climate ambition as expressed in the Paris Agreement and devise strategies for overcoming such challenges at the COP26 summit.

Timely engagement of young scientists, engineers and policy makers is crucial for a future where nuclear power, as a clean and sustainable energy source, plays an important role in the move away from coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel and therefore the most important target for replacement. The IAEA’s first virtual event on the All4Climate calendar, on 2 September, will be Youth Engagement on the Road to Decarbonization, in which young professionals will exchange perspectives on the role of nuclear power and other clean energy sources in the fight against climate change.

The next event, on 20 September, will feature the five finalists of the IAEA Net Zero Challenge, a competition of policy recommendations by young professionals for an accelerated transition to net zero emissions. The finalists will present their recommendations and a committee will select the winner of the Challenge, who will be offered an opportunity to attend COP26 in Glasgow.

Youth themes will again be front and centre on 28 September at the Empowering Youth: Attracting the Next Generation of Nuclear Professionals webinar. Students, young professionals and senior leaders will use this event to inspire young people to pursue careers in nuclear science and technology, underscoring the unique role that young generations have in mitigating climate change and achieving sustainable development.

The IAEA is also gearing up for COP26, with plans to organize several events on nuclear technology’s role in fighting and adapting to climate change.  “There, I will personally reiterate the message that, without the substantial contribution of nuclear power to the global energy mix, we will not achieve our climate goals,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in his introductory statement to the IAEA Board of Governors in June. “Nuclear must have a seat at the table when the world’s future energy and climate policies are being discussed.”

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