Nuclear energy is making a massive contribution to combating climate change

  • The effects of climate change caused by anthropogenic  (human-caused) emissions are numerous and far-reaching.
  • Nuclear plants avoid the emission of over 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. 
  • New nuclear power plants can be deployed at scale, enabling rapid decarbonization of a country’s electricity generation mix.

The impacts of climate change can already be seen, from exacerbating global poverty, water scarcity and food insecurity to severely impacting public health due to the spread of diseases, extreme weather events and the destruction of ecosystems.

By 2030, it is estimated that more than 100 million people will be forced into extreme poverty and some 250,000 additional deaths every year between 2030 and 2050 will be caused by climate change.

Nuclear energy has one of the smallest carbon footprints of all energy sources, and it is one of the largest low-carbon electricity generators globally. The use of nuclear power avoids more than two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of removing half of the world’s 520 million vehicles.

Nuclear energy can be deployed at the rates required to avoid the worst effects of climate change. This has been seen in countries such as France and Sweden, where a rapid expansion of nuclear power in the 1970s and 1980s contributed to a high degree of decarbonization of their electricity systems, whilst delivering substantial economic growth.

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