COP26 Live: Nuclear power has a role to play in all net zero scenarios, IEA finds

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency hailed the net zero journey as a Herculean task

Big Zero Report 2022

Featured Video Play Icon

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said nuclear power has a role to play as countries set out their net zero plans.

Speaking at COP26 UK Presidency-organised event ‘The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Net Zero Future’ Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “In order to reach net zero, first of all, it is a Herculean task. I should tell you, it is not everything so easy.

“So we have two jobs, very roughly summarised and in both of them nuclear has a role. The first one, especially in the next ten years, next ten years is crucial. What the scientists tell us is that by 2030, we have to reduce emissions by 50%, a big challenge. So, the next ten years, massive expansion of technologies which are all existent today. What are those, solar, wind, hydropower, electric cars, nuclear power and energy efficiency.”

Dr Birol explained that massive expansion of these technologies needs to happen in the entire world, not only in the advanced economies.

He added: “But this is not enough, there are technologies which are not yet part of the market, but under development. So we have to push the button today in order to see that those technologies are becoming part of the market. What are those, different hydrogen applications, different carbon capture technologies and new nuclear technologies.

The IEA’s Executive Director had previously said that COP26 pledges could help limit global warming to 1.8°C by 2100. 

Watch the video to listen to what Dr Fatih Birol said about the role of nuclear power in the net zero future.

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast