IAEA: Paris climate-change pact implicitly supports nuclear power

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) COP21 Delegation Head David Shropshire discussed the climate-change conference in Paris in an interview late last week with the IAEA Office of Public Information and Communication.

On the issue of nuclear energy being recognized as a low-carbon source, Shropshire said the Paris agreement doesn't define any energy technologies as "low-carbon." It describes “technology” in terms of research and development, demonstration, capacity building, transfer, needs assessment, project ideas, actions plans, mechanisms, committees and networks, which all apply to nuclear power. Consequently, all energy technologies, low-carbon and fossil, are on the table in the agreement, Shropshire said.

Shropshire said that because of the IAEA’s presence, more people were made aware of what nuclear-generation methods could be capable of in the arena of climate-change mitigation. Shropshire also said the Paris agreement does not preclude any form of generation technology as an acceptable format to reduce carbon, including nuclear generation.

“Many countries were non-specific about which technologies they would use and simply indicated low-carbon or used similar terms” Shropshire said. “Countries are free to specify any technology, including nuclear, to reduce their emissions in future updates of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.”

Shropshire said the agreement reached in Paris can be considered an initial coordinated global response to address climate change. The international community aims to keep any global average temperature  rises from reaching two degrees Celsius by the year 2100.


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