NEA and ENEC to explore innovative financing approaches at COP28 through Net Zero Nuclear

DG Magwood and H.E. Al Hammadi

Director-General Magwood and H.E. Al Hammadi (Photo: Krystal Kenney for the NEA)

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) announced today that it will co-operate with Net Zero Nuclear, the platform that the global nuclear industry has launched to deliver a Financing Nuclear work stream during the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai.

The announcement followed a meeting between NEA Director-General Magwood with H.E. Al Hammadi, Managing Director and CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Chair Elect of the World Nuclear Association, in the margins of the first Roadmaps to New Nuclear ministerial meeting in Paris.

The NEA and ENEC plan to develop work around the theme of “Financing for New Nuclear” ahead of the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai. Discussions between Director-General Magwood and HE Al Hammadi during Roadmaps to New Nuclear focused on the policy consequences of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pathways to limiting global warming to 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. To achieve net zero by 2050, NEA projections show that total nuclear energy capacity will need to triple by 2050.

Director-General Magwood congratulated Mr. Al Hammadi on the success of the Net Zero Nuclear initiative and on developing the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates. He stated “ENEC's successful construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant is a tremendous model for the international community. Nuclear energy is a powerful option for countries seeking to make substantial reductions in carbon emissions and the Barakah project shows that it can be implemented cost effectively.”

CEO Al Hammadi emphasised the pivotal role of nuclear energy in achieving global climate goals. "Nuclear energy plays a vital part in the transition to a low carbon future," he noted. "We are honoured to collaborate with NEA and other international partners at the Net Zero Nuclear Summit during COP28 to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy."

The ongoing engagement between NEA and ENEC will serve to bring together government, industry, and financial sector leaders to discuss innovative strategies that can open greater access to finance for nuclear energy projects. These range from large-scale Generation III and Generation IV reactors to small modular reactors. The collaboration between the NEA and ENEC at COP28 holds significant promise for identifying strategies that will enhance financial pathways for new nuclear energy projects. These joint efforts can deliver valuable insights, stakeholder engagement and outreach to drive progress towards net zero.

The planned collaborative activities will include a series of digital workshops and presentations on opportunities for opening greater access to finance for nuclear energy projects. Nuclear energy related activities across both the blue and green zones at COP28 will culminate with the Net Zero Nuclear Leadership Summit to be held on 7-8 December 2023. Additional plans for collaboration include building case studies for nuclear finance and supporting a high-level showcase for NEA’s Accelerating SMRs for Net Zero initiative as part of COP28 activities.

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