Report Says Low-Carbon Fuel Use Must Triple to Avoid Worst of Climate Change
April 17, 2014—Aggressive deployment of low-carbon fuel—including nuclear—combined with efficiency gains will be required to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said this week.
The report, which says the use of low-carbon fuel needs to triple by 2050, characterizes nuclear energy as a “mature low-greenhouse gas emission source of baseload power … that could make an increasing contribution to low-carbon energy supply.”
It notes that progress is being made in addressing challenges associated with expanding nuclear energy worldwide, including what it listed as “operational risks, … uranium mining risks, financial and regulatory risks, unresolved waste management issues, nuclear weapon proliferation concerns and adverse public opinion.”
“New fuel cycles and reactor technologies addressing some of these issues are being investigated and progress in research and development has been made concerning safety and waste disposal,” the report said.
Fossil fuel power generation that does not capture and store carbon dioxide should be phased out almost entirely by 2100, the report says.
The working group’s full report on mitigating climate change is available on its website. Reports from two other working groups, on scientific evidence and adaptation to climate change, also are available. IPCC plans to release a “synthesis report” in October 2015.