International Atomic Energy Agency emphasizes nuclear energy's role in climate change

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano on Wednesday told French ministers in Paris that because nuclear power is one of the lowest carbon technologies available to generate electricity, it can play a significant role in mitigating climate change.

During his visit, Amano met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal and other government officials and representatives of the French nuclear industry.

Amano told the group that climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time.

"As governments around the world prepare to negotiate a legally binding, universal agreement on climate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year, it is important that the contributions that nuclear science and technology can make to combating climate change are recognized," Amano said.

Amano and French officials also discussed changes in nuclear energy policy throughout the world following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011.

"It is the sovereign decision of each country whether or not to add nuclear power to its energy mix," Amano said. "For countries that choose nuclear power, our job is to help them to use it in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly manner."

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International Atomic Energy Agency 1 United Nations Plaza Room DC-1-1155 NY, NY - 10017

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