‘No nuclear, no net zero’: Australia’s Coalition backs nuclear power pledge at COP28

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  • The Albanese government joined the pledge to triple global renewable energy at COP28, but the Coalition hopes to triple nuclear energy instead if elected.

Australia’s Coalition government pledged to triple nuclear energy if the opposition leader is elected as Prime Minister, going back on the country’s declaration at COP28 in Dubai to triple its renewable energy.

In contrast to the Coalition’s declaration, Australia and 117 other countries joined in pledging to triple global renewable energy capacity and double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.   

“We know that renewables are the cleanest and cheapest form of energy – and that energy efficiency can also help drive down bills and emissions,” the Albanese government said in a statement

However, the opposition’s climate change and energy spokesperson, Ted O’Brien, believes renewables would play an important role in Australia’s future energy mix, but “they can’t do it on their own”.   

Only 11% of the countries represented at COP28 backed the nuclear pledge, mostly countries with a nuclear industry, the Guardian reported. On the sidelines of the conference, O’Brien claimed that “COP28 will be known as the nuclear COP”.  

The Coalition government also claims that nuclear energy could support livelihoods as Australia is the third largest supplier of uranium globally. While it creates jobs for its people, Australia’s uranium “helps power nuclear plants” worldwide, O’Brien said at COP28. The Coalition government said it would also advocate for removing uranium mining and exploration bans as Australia has a “moral obligation” to provide to the world.   


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