The ongoing U.N. climate summit in Dubai witnessed a cascade of energy commitments aimed at combating escalating emissions. Over 110 nations have signaled support to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity by 2030, emphasizing the need to steer away from fossil fuels. However, the colossal investment required to achieve this ambitious goal remains a pivotal concern amid project delays and cost overruns.
Moreover, a coalition of more than 20 nations unveiled plans to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050, recognizing its role in achieving a net-zero emissions future. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry emphasized the indispensability of nuclear power in reaching the 2050 goal.
Another focal point at COP28 is the deliberation on gradually phasing out fossil fuel consumption, a primary contributor to climate change. Nations are contemplating a move towards cleaner energy sources like wind and solar while exploring ways to curtail coal use. France proposed collaborating with nations to assess the risks associated with investing in new coal assets, seeking to dissuade private financiers from supporting such projects.
Amid these commitments, philanthropic institutions pledged $450 million over three years to assist countries in formulating strategies to tackle methane emissions, a significant driver of climate change, Reuters news report said.
More than 20 nations signed a declaration on Saturday aiming to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050, with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry saying the world cannot get to “net zero” without building new reactors. “We are not making the argument that this is absolutely going to be the sweeping alternative to every other energy source,” Kerry said during a launch ceremony at COP28.
“But … you can’t get to net-zero 2050 without some nuclear, just as you can’t get there without some use of carbon capture, utilisation and storage,” Kerry said.
Global nuclear capacity now stands at 370 gigawatts, with 31 countries running reactors. Tripling that capacity by 2050 would require a significant scaling up in new approvals – and finance. Saturday’s declaration, signed by France, Belgium, Britain and South Korea, also commits the countries to taking action to mobilise investment for the sector.
While these announcements indicate a concerted global effort, the challenge remains to secure substantial investments, especially in regions like Africa, to achieve the ambitious renewable energy targets set for 2030.