From one global climate conference to the next, nuclear power has been politely shunned as the world’s environmental elite remain divided about including it in the mix of energy solutions needed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century. That is, until now.
The current COP28 conference under way in Dubai marks a sea change. The atom’s rehabilitation as a necessary ingredient in the quest for a net-zero world got a major boost on Saturday when 22 countries, including Canada, called for a tripling of global nuclear power capacity by 2050.
“We have seen this incredible shift from ideology around technology to pragmatism,” Canadian Nuclear Association president John Gorman said in an interview from Dubai.
The pro-nuclear charge at COP28 was led by French President Emmanuel Macron, who told delegates that “no credible strategy, neither nationally nor globally, allows for exiting coal and fossil fuels based only on renewable energy.” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry echoed his words.