The UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, also known as COP28, is likely to be remembered as the most successful COP for nuclear energy in its history.
Week one (November 30 – December 6), saw both a ministerial and industrial declaration concerning nuclear take place, with 24 governments in total signing up to the goal of tripling nuclear capacity by 2050 to help achieve climate goals.
The industrial declaration, which Urenco attended and had signed, saw more than 120 companies commit to the same capacity goal. This had been spearheaded by the new Net Zero Nuclear (NZN) initiative, of which we became a major sponsor during COP28.
The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), at the same declaration, announced a new initiative to accelerate small modular reactors in industry (SMRs) to help reach net zero.
All this came in advance of the first nuclear energy side conference at COP28, the Net Zero Nuclear Summit, which took place on December 7 and 8.
Our CEO, Boris Schucht, spoke on a panel on the opening day of the summit regarding nuclear fuel capacity and ensuring the industry could play its role in reaching net zero.
Week two (December 7 – 12) saw a statement from five nations of the G7, known as the Sapporo 5, pledging to work closely together to establish a resilient, global nuclear fuel market free from Russian material and influence. Read it here.
Meanwhile, The Global Renewable and Energy Efficiency Pledge recognized that, for those countries that choose to use it, nuclear energy will have a critical role in decarbonizing the energy sector.
Then before COP came to a close, nuclear energy was recognised in the Global Stocktake as a means to achieve “deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” This was the first time nuclear had been formally declared as a solution to climate change under a COP agreement. The stocktake is a process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re making progress towards the goals of the Paris Climate Change agreement, and where they’re not.
A success for Urenco
In addition to the summit, Urenco took part in several other events at COP28.
Our Business Development Project Manager, Safi Syed, spoke on a Nuclear for Climate panel concerning the topic growing energy demand whilst minimising the use of raw material and natural capital. Safi outlined the material and energy efficiency of nuclear and how Urenco was to develop advanced fuels to take this a step further. He also took part in an audience Q and A.
Safi attended the Green zone Net Zero Nuclear stand where he gave an interview on Urenco’s Net Zero Transition Plan, the first we had published as an organisation.
And our Head of Government Affairs, Emilie Isaacs, additionally chaired the Net Zero Nuclear panel, Next Gen Fuel: Security, Safety and Innovation on the topic of advanced fuels.
Urenco is an international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products with sustainability at the core of its business. Operating in a pivotal area of the nuclear fuel supply chain for 50 years, Urenco facilitates zero carbon electricity generation for consumers around the world.
With its head office near London, UK, Urenco’s global presence ensures diversity and security of supply for customers through enrichment facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Using centrifuge technology designed and developed by Urenco, and through the expertise of our people, the Urenco Group provides safe, cost effective and reliable services; operating within a framework of high environmental, social and governance standards, complementing international safeguards.
Urenco is committed to continued investment in the responsible management of nuclear materials; innovation activities with clear sustainability benefits, such as nuclear medicine, industrial efficiency and research; and nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers.