Nuclear Power to Improve Sanitation
The fossil fuel industry is in trouble. Global warming policies are failing to curb emissions, and some countries are even turning to nuclear power to help them reach the 2030 climate change goal.
Nuclear fusion, the most ambitious climate change project to date, has been proposed in Japan and in China, and both countries are pursuing the project. But there are huge obstacles. The latest development comes as the global powers are struggling to agree on how to dramatically reduce emissions. Global powers gathered last week for a two-week summit in Madrid to thrash out a new climate change agreement. But there was no consensus on how to dramatically reduce emissions. “We didn’t even discuss the topic. It was a total fiasco,” said Javier Tebbetts, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme, during a recent report on the situation.
In a sign of how things could change in the coming years, the United Nations said in a statement last week that it hoped the summit would “open a new chapter in the history of the world’s climate system”. The news came as the United Nations warned that countries were not doing enough to help the planet reach its climate change goals. “Countries are not acting fast enough,” said Aminata Dumbuya, head of the U Nations Environment Programme, at the end of a recent report. “Even though we welcome this news, we are not surprised that countries are not agreeing on how to speed up the global transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Countries that want to help the climate change effort include the US, Japan, China, India, and Europe. But the number of countries that want to contribute nuclear power and other technologies to the cause is growing. “Countries that have this kind of ambition are increasing very rapidly,” said Claudia Kemfert, from the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Maryland.
The lack of agreement on how to tackle the climate crisis has left some countries and states turning to nuclear power as a way out. Germany announced last year that it would phase out coal power by 2022, one of the world’s most polluting energy sources, and boost its use of renewable energy instead. China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, is also a big fan of renewable energy. It has set a target of generating 33.5 million megawatts of power from renewable energy by 2020, more than double what it managed to generate in 2018. But China is far from alone in its quest to source a lot of its electricity from green energy sources. Around 650 million people lack access to managed sanitation, which is why Ethiopia and India are trying to figure out how to turn the tide on their respective coal and nuclear power projects. It is a bold idea that could have a huge impact on the number of people who get sick each year.