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IAEA to Lead Events at Climate Change Talks on Energy Policy, Nuclear Power, Ocean Acidification

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Bonn Germany

The IAEA helps countries use nuclear science and technology to monitor, mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The IAEA will lead side events on energy policy, sustainable development, nuclear power and climate change, and the future of the oceans at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which kicks off today in the western German city.

The 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides a platform for countries to present their strategies for mitigating the effects of a warming planet, including their next steps for implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change. The conference, presided over by the Government of Fiji, runs through 17 November.

“The IAEA will seek to raise awareness among participants and country delegates of the role of nuclear science and technology in addressing climate change, including the resources available at the IAEA to meet their needs,” said David Shropshire, Head of the IAEA’s Planning and Economic Studies Section and of the Agency’s delegation at COP23.

The IAEA is the focal point of a joint UN side event on 10 November, Energy Policy Trade-Offs within the Broader Sustainable Development Challenge. The event will highlight pathways to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 — access to safe, clean and affordable energy — and support implementation of the Paris Agreement. Speakers at the event will present tools to evaluate the trade-offs and synergies among energy systems, land and water use, and climate change, which require integrated approaches for assessing sustainable-development strategies. The IAEA has been instrumental in developing tools such as Climate, Land, Energy and Water (CLEW), a framework for integrated assessment of resource systems.

The IAEA will lead two other events. On 8 November, Connecting Roadmaps for Innovative Nuclear Energy to the NDC Timeline will focus on how nuclear energy innovation can be coupled with the timelines of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) made by countries in committing to the Paris Agreement. Another side event on 15 November will discuss how nuclear power, which accounts for one third of global low carbon energy production, can further contribute to climate change mitigation.

“To meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, nuclear power capacity will need to be substantially increased by 2050,” said IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. At the 8 November side event, “panellists will discuss innovations in nuclear energy technologies – the progress, challenges, and enabling conditions to accelerate their development and hopefully, early deployment,” he added. “The five-year NDC reporting period and time horizons of innovative nuclear power technologies, could be incorporated into energy plans to support carbon reductions.”

In addition, the IAEA and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO are the focal points of a UN Oceans side event on 11 November, Ocean and Climate: A Resilient Ocean for Future Generations. The IAEA will explain how policymakers can make informed decisions on climate change through the use of nuclear science, including in measuring and monitoring ocean acidification, which is profoundly changing seawater chemistry, threatening marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

As the focal point for the UN exhibit on Energy, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, focused on SDGs 7 and 9, IAEA staff will also interact with participants on the Agency’s work on climate change during the two-week-long COP23.

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