NEI: Paris climate-change pact sees 'essential role' for nuclear energy

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) issued a statement late last week following the conclusion of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) that took place earlier this month in Paris.

The NEI said the main goal of the agreement reached during the conference is to mitigate the effects of climate change and to commit to reducing carbon output to keep average global temperature increases under two degrees Celsius by 2100. If possible, the international community would aim for a limitation of temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, which is viewed as a better goal in reducing climate change.

The NEI said the role of nuclear energy in this agreement indicates the international community’s recognition of the method of power generation. The agreement allows countries to rely on nuclear power to meet carbon-reduction goals.

“The Paris agreement manifests a strong international commitment to carbon reduction. This administration and other countries have emphasized the essential role of nuclear energy to that commitment,” Susan Mathiascheck, NEI's senior director for environmental policy, said. “Nuclear energy addresses the twin goals of reducing carbon and bringing the basic human needs that electricity provides to many of those most in need.”

Prior to the conference, many countries submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, in which they detail how they plan to mitigate climate change by 2020. The U.S. committed to implementing carbon-reduction measures to facilitate emission reduction by approximately 26 to 28 percent of levels reported in 2005 by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that its Clean Power Plan would account for approximately 7 percent of the country’s commitment, in line with the Paris agreement.

Organizations in this Story

Nuclear Energy Institute U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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