Nuclear organisations say nuclear is essential for net zero

3 June 2021

More than 100 nuclear societies and NGOs, part of the Nuclear for Climate initiative, on 2 June issued a statement calling on world leaders to "follow the science" and recognise that nuclear energy output must at least double by 2050 to meet global net-zero targets. The initiative is targeted at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) being held in Glasgow from 1-12 November this year.

COP26 represents a critical opportunity for nations to come together and take action, “collectively changing the way we think about climate and setting us clearly on the path towards net-zero”, the Nuclear for Climate coalition said in its statement. Nuclear for Climate, co-founded by the European Nuclear Society and the American Nuclear Society, represents more than 80,000 young professionals, engineers, scientists, nuclear experts, environmentalists and concerned citizens.

In February, Nuclear for Climate published its COP26 Position Paper, titled Net Zero Needs Nuclear. The paper. Now available ion 17 languages, outlines the scientific justification behind why net-zero needs nuclear and calls on all those involved at COP26 to take a science-led and technology-neutral approach to energy policy and financing.

The societies say the world, is "completely off-track" for developing new nuclear power as required under the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario. A substantial increase in nuclear energy is needed in all four illustrative pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C, as identified in a summary for policymakers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report. The four illustrative IPCC pathways show an increase of nuclear output of between 98% and 501% from 2010 to 2050.

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