UN report highlights nuclear for emissions reduction

31 August 2007

A report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) states that more investment in nuclear energy will be needed as part of efforts to return greenhouse gas emissions to current levels by 2030.


The report was presented at UN climate change talks taking place in Vienna, Austria, between 27-31 August. It examines how 14 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) could be saved from the energy sector by 2030, cutting predicted emissions of 41 billion tCO2eq to the current 27 billion tCO2eq emitted from the energy sector. The report also highlights what changes in investment would be needed to achieve these reductions. 


The report concludes that 6 billion tCO2eq could be saved through energy efficiency, 2.5 billion tCO2eq would be avoided through the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.


Additional investment in nuclear, renewables and hydropower would each save 1.6 billion tCO2eq. Investment in advanced biofuels would avoid the emissions of 0.7 billion tCO2eq.


To achieve this would require a shift in investment away from fossil fuels. An additional $38 billion would be required for renewables; $22 billion for hydropower and $25 billion dollars for nuclear energy. Overall, investment in nuclear generation would need to increase from $15 billion to $40 billion, including an additional $11 billion investment in developing countries.


During discussions of the report,the delegate from Saudi Arabia questioned the inclusion of nuclearenergy in the report, saying that it was not environmentally acceptableto many parties. The Saudi delegate went on to advocate the use of"clean oil technologies".


Executive secretary Yvo de Boerresponded that the findings of the report were based on countries'stated intentions for future use of nuclear energy. He also said that"if we are going to meet the growing energy demand of the world we aregoing to need every energy source, every energy carrier."



Further information


United Nations: Analysis of existing and planned investment and financial flows relevant to the development of effective and appropriate international response to climate change


WNA's Global Warming - Policy Responses information paper

WNN: No credible scenario without nuclear