COP28 Nuclear Deal – Implications for the Global Clean Energy Race
The COP28 in Dubai is coming to a close with COP28-president Sultan al-Jaber presenting the final resolution just this morning. Nearly 200 countries voted in favor of the deal which urges states to ‘move away from fossil fuel’ – a first in COP history. Stakeholders had been working overtime to finalize an agreement as a dispute over whether the deal should call for the phasing out or phasing down of fossil fuels was threatening to undermine the entirety of the COP28 agreement. On Dec. 6, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais urged members of the powerful oil coalition to resist all language that targets fossil fuel in the COP28 deal.
What is the COP28 Nuclear Treaty?
The biggest worry is that disagreements over fossil fuel would sabotage other important parts of the climate deal with more promising support.
Nuclear power has received an unprecedented amount of attention at this year’s summit. On Dec. 2nd, leaders from 22 countries announced a new declaration to triple global nuclear capacity by 2050, while at the same time extending the life span of existing nuclear power plants.
The U.S has been a driving force in elevating nuclear power in the global climate change regime, with also the UK, France and Canada being parties to the ‘non-binding’ COP28 nuclear treaty. The world’s second-largest nuclear power producer, China, was notably absent from the agreement.
China is the distant global leader in new nuclear construction. China has 21 nuclear reactors under construction – 2.5 times more than any other country. China is expected to surpass the United States as the number one nuclear power producer within 10 years
The COP28 nuclear treaty is the latest chapter in the story about the U.S.-China weapons race in clean tech.