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IAEA Statement on Nuclear Power at COP28

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Achieving sustainable economic development and averting the devastating consequences of unchecked climate change will require making use of all low carbon energy sources, including nuclear power.

Studies confirm that the goal of global net zero carbon emissions can only be reached by 2050 with swift, sustained and significant investment in nuclear energy. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change see nuclear as important part of the solution to climate change and energy insecurity.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, nuclear power has avoided the release of some 30 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases. Today, it provides a quarter of the world’s clean electricity and contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Resilient and robust nuclear power has the potential to play a wider role in the quest towards net zero carbon emissions, while ensuring the highest level of nuclear safety and security. It can help to decarbonize district heating, desalination, industry processes and hydrogen production.

Nuclear power emits no greenhouse gasses when it is produced and contributes to energy security and the stability of the power grid, while facilitating the broader uptake of solar and wind power. Locally, it cuts air pollution, which is one of today’s biggest public health crises causing the death of 8 million people a year. The responsible advancement of innovative technologies, including small modular reactors, aims to make nuclear power easier to build, more flexible to deploy and more affordable, which is of particular importance to developing countries.

To build a low carbon bridge to the future will require that we keep the operating nuclear power plants serving us today. Continuous plant life management and refurbishment ensure the ongoing safety and reliability of our existing fleet, allowing it to provide decarbonized energy to the electric grid and other sectors. On the occasion of the 28th Session of the Conference Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, the IAEA and its Member States that are nuclear energy producers and those working with the IAEA to promote the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy acknowledge that all available low emission technologies should be recognized and actively supported.

Net zero needs nuclear power.

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