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Russia Says US-Led Effort to Triple Nuclear Energy Capacity is ‘Positive Shift’

Russia didn’t sign up to a U.S.-led pact pledging to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050, but Moscow welcomed the declaration at COP28 as a “positive shift” in energy goals to help achieve global climate targets.

At the COP28 climate summit, the United States and 21 other countries pledged to triple nuclear energy capacities by 2050, saying incorporating more nuclear power in their energy mix is critical for achieving their net zero goals in the coming decades.   

The United States, alongside Britain, France, Canada, Sweden, South Korea, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among others, signed the declaration at the COP28 climate summit currently underway in Dubai.

“The Declaration recognizes the key role of nuclear energy in achieving global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and keeping the 1.5-degree Celsius goal within reach,” the U.S. Department of State said.

John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, says there are “trillions of dollars” available that could be used for investment in nuclear energy.

“We are not making the argument to anybody that this is absolutely going to be the sweeping alternative to every other energy source — no, that’s not what brings us here. But you can’t get to net-zero 2050 without some nuclear power,” he told reporters.

Commenting on the pact, Russia’s Deputy Economy Minister Vladimir Ilyichev told Bloomberg in an interview that “Without nuclear energy it is impossible to achieve climate goals.”

The declaration recognizing the key role of nuclear energy in helping to achieve climate goals is a “positive shift,” Ilyichev told Bloomberg at the COP28 summit.

Talks on climate between the West and Russia have stalled since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions hinder negotiations, according to the Russian official.

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Russia is one of the world’s biggest nuclear power developers and a major producer of oil and gas.

Russia will continue to pitch natural gas as a lower-emission source of energy, Ilyichev told Bloomberg.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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