09.06.2015_No117 / News

Nuclear Industry Welcomes G7 Pledge To Phase Out Fossil Fuels

Policies & Politics

9 Jun (NucNet): The Group of Seven industrial powers’ agreement to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century is an “admirable initiative” that means all clean energy technologies, including nuclear, will have a role to play in the future energy mix, the nuclear industry has said.

Keith Parker, chief executive of the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association, said the risks associated with climate change cannot be ignored by the global community, and the harmful effects of air pollution are already being felt across the world.

He said in the UK the NIA’s own polling shows 65 percent of the British public see climate change as a serious and urgent problem.

“All clean energy technologies, including nuclear and renewables have a vital role to play in reducing carbon emissions generated by the electricity sector and although the low-carbon energy industry may lead the way, it can’t solve the problem alone,” Mr Parker said.

“The automotive, aviation, agricultural, building and other industries need to play their part in reducing the transmission of harmful emissions if we want to tackle this issue effectively.”

G7 leaders meeting in Bavaria, Germany, said that in line with scientific findings, “deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century”.

The leaders of the US, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, Canada and Italy also said they supported cutting greenhouse gases by 40 to 70 per cent by 2050 from 2010 levels — the first time they have backed such a precise long-term target.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the cuts would have to be at the upper end of this target because “40 per cent is clearly not enough”.

The commitment is not binding, but the BBC reported that it sends “a clear message to investors that in the long term economies will have to be powered by non-polluting energy”.

Reacting to the summit’s final declaration, the European Climate Foundation described the G7 leaders’ announcement as historic, saying it signalled “the end of the fossil fuel age” and was an “important milestone on the road to a new climate deal in Paris”.

The paramount goal of the G7 meeting was to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year, where a binding global climate agreement is to be adopted.

The G7 said yesterday it intends to support the communiqué from the G7 energy ministers’ meeting held in Hamburg last month. One of the things agreed at that meeting was to improve energy security.

The energy ministers said they support the improved use of energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as other “domestic resources”. This includes nuclear energy, they said, which can work as a baseload energy source.

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