In a significant move at the COP28 climate talks in Dubai, over 20 nations, led by the United States, have advocated for a tripling of nuclear energy to combat rising emissions. The declaration, supported by countries such as the UK, Japan, and several European nations, asserts that nuclear power plays a “key role” in achieving global carbon neutrality by 2050.
While addressing the conference, US climate envoy John Kerry acknowledged the controversy surrounding nuclear energy but emphasized its necessity in reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The signatories, including France, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, propose a threefold increase in nuclear energy capacity by 2050 from 2020 levels.
Notably, Russia and China did not endorse the declaration, reflecting the ongoing global debate on the safety and environmental impact of nuclear power. Environmental group 350.org expressed concerns, citing the Fukushima nuclear disaster as a reminder of the risks associated with atomic energy.
Simultaneously, discussions at COP28 revolve around other climate commitments, including tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency by 2030. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed the urgency of transitioning away from fossil fuels, particularly coal.
In a separate development, the United States, China, and the UAE will host a summit addressing methane emissions, the second-largest contributor to climate change. While China has agreed to include all greenhouse gases in its 2035 climate pledge, it has yet to fully commit to the US-backed Global Methane Pledge, seeking a 30 percent reduction in global methane emissions by 2030.
US climate envoy John Kerry emphasized the destructive nature of methane, underlining its significance in climate change. As world leaders convene for COP28, the discussions reflect a global commitment to address diverse challenges in achieving sustainable and cleaner energy sources.