On Monday, May 4th, leaders from thirty-nine international nuclear societies, including the Nuclear Institute NI, gathered in Nice, France, to sign the Nuclear for Climate Declaration and pledge their commitment to continue the fight against climate change.
The signed declaration, stating that “We the undersigned proudly believe that nuclear energy is a key part of the solution in the fight against climate change”, will be presented to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.
Signing on behalf of the UK Nuclear Industry, Rear Admiral Tim Chittenden, President of the Nuclear Institute, said the declaration would be an important milestone in facing up to the causes of global climate change.
“Established scientific opinion around the world is virtually unanimous that human activity is leading to global climate change and that the uncontrolled release of greenhouse gasses, principally carbon dioxide, from power generation is a significant contributor,” he began.
“If the threat from global warming is to be mitigated before irreversible, and potentially catastrophic, climate change has taken place,” RAdm Chittenden continued, “the Nuclear Institute, representing professionals in the UK nuclear sector, strongly believes that nuclear power, alongside other low carbon and renewable energy sources, will have an essential role to play in the process. For this reason we are proud to stand alongside many other scientific and professional nuclear organisations to affirm our belief that nuclear energy is a key part of the solution in the fight against climate change.”
The declaration is a major component of the “Nuclear for Climate” global initiative- a grassroots initiative launched in the summer of 2014 by nuclear engineers and scientists to achieve recognition of nuclear as a low-carbon energy that is part of the solution to fight climate change.
The initiative was initially launched through the French Nuclear Society, the European Nuclear Society, and the American Nuclear Society, but on Monday “Nuclear for Climate” invited the presidents and representatives of leading nuclear industry organizations to join the initiative and to lend their voices to the call for change.
The signing took place during the International Congress on Advances in nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP) held in Nice, France, with 39 nuclear societies, representing 50,000 scientists from 36 countries across all five continents endorsing the declaration.
Scientists and representatives from both OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) have stressed that each country needs access to the widest possible portfolio of low-carbon technologies available, including nuclear energy, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and meet other energy goals.
Nuclear for Climate have called for the new UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Protocols to recognize nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy option, and to include it in its climate funding mechanisms, as is the case for all other low-carbon energy sources.
You can read a full copy of the declaration here.
A video of the signing has been posted to the Nuclear for Climate youtube channel.