IAEA selects winners of the Net Zero Challenge on Policies for Clean Energy Transition

IAEA selects winners of the Net Zero Challenge on Policies for Clean Energy Transition



Steering the world towards net zero emissions in order to achieve global climate goals is no easy task. It will take concrete energy policies as well as the next generation of scientists, engineers and policy makers to lead them to the finish line. Today, on the sidelines of the 65th IAEA General Conference, the IAEA announced the winners of the IAEA Net Zero Challenge, a competition that challenges young people around the world to develop successful policy proposals for the clean energy transition.

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Steering the world towards net zero emissions in order to achieve global climate goals is no easy task. It will take concrete energy policies as well as the next generation of scientists, engineers and policy makers to lead them to the finish line. Today, on the sidelines of the 65th IAEA General Conference, the IAEA announced the winners of the IAEA Net Zero Challenge, a competition that challenges young people around the world to develop successful policy proposals for the clean energy transition.

The IAEA shortlisted six people from a total of 71 submissions who responded to the question: How can nuclear power, along with other low-carbon energy sources, help your country or region achieve its net-zero targets? At today’s event, the six teams of finalists – from Nigeria, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Singore, Great Britain and the United States – were invited to present their proposals to an IAEA jury, which, after careful consideration, was the Singore team.

“Your people are proof of how indispensable nuclear energy is in order to achieve the climate protection goals that the countries have achieved through the Paris Agreement,” said Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General of the IAEA and Head of the Department for Nuclear Energy, referring to the six finalist teams. “Climate change remains the greatest ecological challenge of our time and especially for future generations. So it is only natural that we asked young people for their input and suggestions on how to achieve net zero. “

The Singore project was introduced by Claire Li, a 20-year-old student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, who worked with Komal Prashar and Linda Zheng on a hypothetical proposal that would help the island nation decarbonise the global shipping industry through an initiative to use fuel cells with green hydrogen generated by low-carbon nuclear energy. Singore does not operate nuclear power plants, and the team’s plan would be based on partnerships with other countries to import nuclear-generated hydrogen.

“This is one way Singore can contribute to decarbonization around the world,” said Li. “Singore is a leading global port with plenty of infrastructure and resources available. It can thus set standards for other ports in the world. “

A representative of the winning team has the opportunity to attend an IAEA event in UN climate conference (COP26) in November in Glasgow. The IAEA plans to hold several events at COP26 to showcase the scientific and technical reasons for how nuclear energy plays a significant role in climate protection. The IAEA will educate policy leaders, industry, scientists and civil society attending COP26 on the benefits of nuclear science and technology that are helping the world mitigate and support climate change.

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