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COP29 hosts aim to include nuclear in deliberations

The “inclusion of facilitated and affordable nuclear technologies in the resource deliberations of the COP process is essential”, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said.

Bayramov, whose country is hosting the 29th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP29) in November was speaking at the Nuclear Energy Summit, co-organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Belgium, in Brussels last month.

In his address to those attending, he said: “The inclusion of nuclear energy in the global stockake at COP28, as a means for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, was indeed a historic milestone. This development is a testament to the progress made collectively in ensuring the safety and security of nuclear energy and highlights the instrumental role of the IAEA.

“As we explore expanded use of nuclear energy, it is imperative that we redouble our efforts in addressing nuclear safety. Moreover, facilitating affordable access to nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes should remain the cornerstone of our collective endeavours.

“We, as the host country for COP29, are committed to spearheading efforts to produce tangible outcomes at this milestone event to be held in Baku later this year – ensuring the inclusion of facilitated and affordable nuclear energy technologies in the resource deliberations of the COP process is essential.”

“The path forward necessitates a balanced approach integrating the safe, secure, equitable and affordable expansion of nuclear energy while ensuring environmental sustainability. I would like to assure you that in our national capacity, and as the COP29 chair, we will spare no effort in this regard,” he added.

He said that the country was currently exploring with the IAEA the feasibility of using nuclear applications in detecting landmines which, he said, were “a significant challenge for Azerbaijan”.

What COP28 agreed

The text of the COP28 global stocktake agreement said that the parties recognise that limiting global warming to 1.5°C “with no or limited overshoot requires deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions of 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035 relative to the 2019 level and reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050”.

The agreement calls on parties to “contribute to global efforts, in a nationally determined manner, taking into account the Paris Agreement and their different national circumstances, pathways and approaches”.

It calls for a transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, “in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net-zero by 2050 in keeping with the science”. In addition, it says there should be an acceleration in zero and low-emission technologies, “including, inter alia, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies such as carbon capture and utilisation and storage, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors, and low-carbon hydrogen production”.

World Nuclear Association said this was the first time nuclear energy has been formally specified as one of the solutions to climate change in a COP agreement.

Source: World Nuclear News