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Thursday, 12 August 2021

UNECE: Successful fight against climate change is impossible without the use of nuclear energy

Written by BelTA

Nuclear energy plays an important role in avoiding CO2 emissions, thereby helping to combat climate change. This is stated in a new report by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), according to the UN News Center.

"Over the past 50 years, the use of nuclear energy has reduced global CO2 emissions by about 74 gigatons, which is almost two years of global emissions. Only hydropower has played a larger role in avoiding emissions during this period," the report says.

Experts believe that nuclear energy should be seen as part of measures aimed at implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It can be used along with other sustainable low- or zero-carbon technologies to decarbonize the global energy system and energy-intensive industries.

Since nuclear power plants produce both electricity and heat with low carbon emissions, they also offer opportunities for decarbonizing energy-intensive industries.

For example, there is the potential to increase production of low or zero carbon, hydrogen and chemical steel, thereby decarbonising sectors where carbon reduction is difficult.

A number of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States, have explicitly stated that in the future, nuclear energy will play an important role in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions. The UNECE emphasizes that countries using nuclear energy need to cooperate and develop joint projects.

Countries in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region currently operate 292 nuclear reactors. Overall, in the UNECE region, nuclear power is an active part of the energy system, accounting for 20% of electricity. In eleven countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine) it provides more than 30% of electricity generation.

Nuclear power plants are currently operating in 20 countries, and new reactors are being built or developed in fifteen countries. Seven UNECE member states are in the process of developing nuclear energy programs for the first time, the report says.

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