Global nuclear energy summit announced for March

19th January 2024 By: Rebecca Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The intergovernmental International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) director-general, Rafael Mariano Grossi, French President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo have jointly announced that an international summit-level conference on nuclear energy will take place in Brussels, Belgium, in March. This summit will be the first ever of its kind.

“If you want to reconcile job creation, strategic autonomy and sovereignty and low carbon emission, there is nothing more sustainable and reliable than nuclear energy,” said Macron. De Croo affirmed that nuclear energy would be needed as part of the energy mix, if net-zero carbon emissions were to be reached.

The announcement was made at the COP28 United Nations Climate Conference, in Dubai, at an event focused on nuclear energy. That event was the signing of a Ministerial Declaration by representatives of 22 countries, setting a goal of tripling the world’s nuclear energy capacity by 2050. Grossi described this commitment as “very important”.

The countries concerned were Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UK and the US. In regional terms, two of the signatories came from Africa, four from Asia (including the UAE), 14 from Europe and two from North America.

“The significance of the Ministerial Declaration cannot be overstated,” stated World Nuclear Association director-general Dr Sama Bilbao y León.

“The countries supporting this declaration are making a resolute commitment, placing nuclear energy at the heart of their strategies for climate change mitigation. Their vision is one that strives for a sustainable, cost- effective, secure and equitable energy mix. If we can collectively realise this ambitious goal, tripling nuclear capacity, we have the power to fulfil the promise of nuclear energy – to decarbonise entire economies and provide clean electricity to every corner of the globe. Together, let us embark on this journey towards a cleaner, sustainable future.”