Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), delivered an address on the opening day of the International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power, held in Vienna in the second week of October. 2019. He will review the findings of the report released a year ago by the IPCC, which featured four model pathways for limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the threshold at which most experts believe the worst impacts from climate change can still be avoided. All four model pathways included increases in nuclear power generation by 2050, ranging between 59% and 501%.
To support the low-carbon energy transformation needed to achieve climate change goals, the conference focused on opportunities and challenges for nuclear power development. To this end, organizers brought together representatives of low-carbon energy sectors, international organizations and national experts.
IAEA Acting Director General Cornel Feruta opened the conference. Other prominent speakers included Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General of the NEA ; Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency; LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; and senior officials and scientists from 75 countries including Argentina, China, Egypt, France, India, Mongolia, Morocco, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
“Nuclear power has long made a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and currently produces one-third of the world’s low carbon electricity while also supporting sustainable development and fulfilling growing energy demands,” said IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. “We are honoured that Dr. Hoesung Lee, one of the world’s leading scientific voices on climate change, is bringing his expertise to this first-of-a-kind conference.”