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IAEA Showcases Work on Climate Change at Global Conference

Role of Nuclear Technologies in Mitigating Climate Change, Ocean Acidification and Environmental Protection

Atlantic Ocean

The role of nuclear energy in mitigating climate change and the role of nuclear technologies in protecting the environment and the oceans will be the focus of IAEA's outreach at the global climate change conference. (Photo: R. Quevenco/IAEA)

The role of nuclear energy in mitigating climate change and the role of nuclear technologies in protecting the environment, including the oceans, will be the focus of IAEA's outreach at the global climate change conference that began on 11 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

The 19th Conference of the Parties (COP-19) brings together representatives from the 194 countries party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to review and promote progress in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The two-week Conference will strive to build confidence in the climate change negotiations process by enhancing the implementation of previous decisions and to find a practical way of how to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Conference is intended to lay a foundation for a new global agreement expected at COP-21 in 2015 in Paris, France. In addition, COP-19 serves as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

The IAEA is participating in the Conference to provide authoritative, objective information on request to negotiators and other delegates. Its report on Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2013, launched last week, highlights nuclear power's contribution to the global climate change agenda. Building on the imperative that future low-Carbon energy choices are necessary to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 50 - 85 per cent by 2050, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it summarizes the potential role of nuclear power in mitigating global climate change and its contribution to other development and environment challenges. It also examines broader issues relevant for the climate change - nuclear energy nexus such as costs, safety, waste management and non-proliferation.

In addition, the IAEA will organize and moderate a UN System side event at the Conference. The side event on Economics of Mitigation: Energy Sector, Global Trade, International Maritime Transport is co-sponsored by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It will present the work of these three international organisations in supporting national efforts to find economically efficient and environmentally effective strategies for reducing GHG emissions in the energy sector and international maritime transport. It will also highlight the role of international trade to further these strategies. The event will take place on Monday, 18 November 2013, 16:45 - 18:15 at the National Stadium, Room Warsaw.

To raise the profile of nuclear technologies in protecting the oceans, the IAEA is also participating in the side event on Ocean Acidification - The Other CO2 Problem,co-organized with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and other partners. The phenomenon known as ocean acidification, a series of chemical changes resulting from the oceans' absorption of about a quarter of all CO2 emissions worldwide every day, is endangering the existence of organisms with calcareous shells or skeletons with potential implications for entire marine ecosystems. The event will highlight initiatives to address the challenges posed by this phenomenon, including the need for greater international coordination of such efforts. It will also present the IAEA's new project Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, which was launched at the Rio+20 Conference. The event will take place on 18 November, 13:15 - 14:45 at the National Stadium, Room Gdansk.

An IAEA information booth at COP19 will also present information about the role of nuclear energy in mitigating climate change and the support provided by nuclear applications. Copies of the report on Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2013 will be made available to participants. The IAEA booth (#97) can be found on Level 2 of the National Stadium, at the far end of the IT area towards Zone B1.


-- By Bruna Lecossois, IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy


(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)