In an landmark announcement at COP28, world leaders committed to tripling global nuclear capacity by 2050 as part of the transition to net zero.
The Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy Capacity by 2050 has been endorsed by the Heads of State of nine countries at the ceremony, with declaration endorsement from 21 countries in total, comprising:
- Republic of Korea
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
The Declaration lays out the importance of nuclear energy as a clean, reliable energy source and the imperative for accelerating the development of nuclear energy in order to meet energy needs, including clean electrons and clean molecules such as steam and hydrogen, as well as process heat, to meet climate goals.
The ceremony took place at the Rove Hotel in front of international dignitaries and industry leaders during COP 28 in Dubai, where the global community are gathering to discuss the actions required to mitigate climate change and ensure global temperatures remain with 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial temperatures.
Global energy systems account for around 70 per cent of total carbon emissions, with power production generating almost 30 per cent of total emissions.
Decarbonising electricity, heating, industrial processes and transportation is therefore a crucial driver to reduce emissions.
The Declaration recognises the importance of nuclear energy in achieving global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, emphasising that nuclear is already the second-largest source of clean, dispatchable baseload power globally, and the largest source of clean electricity for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations.
It acknowledges expert analysis from the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the World Nuclear Association, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the International Energy Agency (IEA), all of whom conclude the need for significant expansion of nuclear energy capacity to meet emissions reductions goals.
The Declaration encourages partnerships, commitments, and innovations from additional governments and financial organisations, including the World Bank, to unleash the political will and resources required for such an expansion.
Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, UAE, said: “Nuclear energy offers a clean, stable baseload energy source. The UAE took the decision back in 2009 to pursue this important energy source and today, it is decarbonising energy-intensive and heavy industry across the country.
“We see nuclear as part of a balanced portfolio of energy, and we are committed to working with other countries to show how we have delivered this in a safe and sustainable way.
“The UAE supports this important declaration, which is crucial for reaching Net Zero.”
The UAE has been leading the way in the global clean energy transition. Over the past five years, the UAE has added the most clean electricity per capita of any country globally.
75 percent of that electricity has come from nuclear energy, with the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi commencing commercial operations of its first unit in 2021, adding 10TWh of electricity to the grid each year as each 1400MW unit of the four-unit plant has come on line.
Unit 4 of the plant is set to come online in 2024.