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Without nuclear power, the world’s climate challenge will get a whole lot harder

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The Covid-19 crisis not only delivered an unprecedented shock to the world economy. It also underscored the scale of the climate challenge we face: Even in the current deep recession, global carbon emissions remain unsustainable.



a sunset in the background: White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. - Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)


© Sebastien Berda/AFP/Getty Images
White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. – Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)

If the world is to meet energy security and climate goals, clean energy must be at the core of post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts. Strong growth in wind and solar energy and in the use of electric cars gives us grounds for hope, as does the promise of emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture. But the scale of the challenge means we cannot afford to exclude any available technologies, including nuclear power — the world’s second-largest source of low-carbon electricity after hydropower.

The power sector is the key to the clean energy transition. It is the single largest source of global emissions because most electricity is generated from fossil fuels. By significantly expanding the amount of electricity produced from low-carbon sources, we can help to reduce emissions not only from power generation, but also from sectors like transport, where low-carbon electricity can now fuel cars, trucks and buses.

This is a major undertaking. Low-carbon electricity generation will need to triple by 2040 to put the world on track to reach energy and climate goals. That is the equivalent of adding Japan’s entire power system to the global grid every year. It is very difficult to see how this can be done without a considerable contribution from nuclear power.

Nuclear power generated a near-record amount of electricity

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The Battle To Save The World’s Rarest Species From Extinction Following Mauritius Oil Spill

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On Monday September 24, at a virtual meeting hosted by the UN Headquarters in New York, 60 world leaders signed a ‘Leaders Pledge for Nature’ to stop the loss of biodiversity. Heads of State from France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Panama signed.

Noticeably, the embattled political leaders from Japan and Mauritius were not signatories.

The Leaders Pledge in New York was part of an important UN Summit to avoid the world heading into a major period of biodiversity collapse, as planet Earth grapples with the highest extinction rates since homo sapiens became a distinct species, in what has been called the Sixth Mass Extinction. Rather than being caused by colliding asteroids or other natural phenomenon, this new age of extinction is being caused by man.

The front lines of this extinction battle is happening live on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, which is still battling the effects of a major oil spill.

Effects of oil spill disrupting entire island nation

Two months on from the major shipping incident in the Indian Ocean, islanders on Mauritius are still reeling from its effects.  Life is far from returning to normal.

The large Japanese bulk carrier, the Wakashio, hit an important barrier coral reef in the South East of the country, and started spilling heavy ship engine fuel into the pristine coral lagoon and into a network of historic and unique biodiversity sites.