Recent widespread extreme climate events and the latest IPCC report show with irrefutable clarity that catastrophic climate change is real and here.
The most obvious and potent cause of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning coal, oil and natural gas. These fossil fuels supply three-fourths of global energy. So if we are to name the one most indispensable imperative in the combat against climate change, it has to be the rapid, massive substitution of other energies for fossil fuels.
We cannot realistically reduce our energy use. Indeed, electricity production must be massively increased by the end of the century to satisfy many new requirements. 50° C is already becoming common in many parts of the world, and only massive electrification for cooling can ensure certain parts of the world remain liveable. Reducing fossil fuels for such uses as heating and cooling buildings, and transportation - cars, trucks, and shipping - will mean producing still more electricity.
Substituting “renewables” - wind and sun - will not solve the problem. These energies require enormous land use, competing with agriculture, urbanisation and wildlife. Nuclear power requires 400 times less land for the equivalent energy.
Only nuclear can solve the climate problem at the required speed and scale.
China built 20 new nuclear power generators from 2016 to 2020 and plans to build 6 to 8 new plants per year, proving that rapid nuclear buildup is possible.
No human activity has zero risk; risk is always relative. The evidence over six decades shows that nuclear power is a safe means of generating electricity. The risk of accidents in nuclear power plants is lower than other sources of energy production. French nuclear production equals about 2000 reactor years without a serious accident, and safety requirements are even more stringent since Fukushima.
Nuclear is the only energy production method where all waste is accounted for and treated accordingly.
The (relatively low) risk of Nuclear Power as a source of low carbon energy should be balanced against the certainty of climate disaster in the absence of reliable, widely available low carbon energy to replace coal, gas and oil.
We call on World Leaders and Policy Makers to:
- end fossil fuel subsidies,
- use carbon pricing as a tool to discourage fossil fuel use,
- provide funding and financial incentives for research, development and installation of nuclear power sufficient to replace fossil fuels, as swiftly as can be done while respecting safety standards,
- use communication tools to educate citizens regarding the risks, advantages and limitations of energy sources.