Mr Grossi called for even closer cooperation with the European Union to address global challenges related to non-proliferation, climate change and sustainable development.
He said nuclear power has fuelled the development of major world economies for generations. It has done so without contributing to the more than eight million deaths fossil fuel pollution causes annually, according to 2018 data.
Mr Grossi was speaking at the European parliament by video link during a joint session of the subcommittee on security and defence, the committee on foreign affairs and the committee for industry, research and energy. It was the first time an IAEA director-general has spoken at the parliament.
“I believe that your noble objectives of: ‘strengthening global recovery and tackling inequalities;’ of ‘winning the race against climate change and restoring our relationship with nature;’ and of ‘building partnerships and alliances’ will be easier to achieve when you work with, and support, the IAEA,” Mr Grossi said.
Since 2008, the EU has contributed approximately €140m, including €10.8m in 2020, in extrabudgetary funds to the IAEA. The IAEA said the contributions have been pivotal in supporting projects in nuclear safety and security, and technical cooperation to ensure all nations benefit from nuclear technology.
“The biggest positive long-term impact nuclear can make is in providing the safe, stable and sustainable supply of low carbon energy,” Mr Grossi said. “It is every country’s sovereign right and responsibility to choose its own energy mix, and half of the EU’s members states have chosen to include nuclear.”