31 Aug The Quest To Reduce The Effects of Climate Change
How Nuclear Energy Is A Viable Option Against Climate Change
Introduction: What is Climate Change?
Climate change can be seen as a global or regional climate pattern stemming from increased methane and carbon dioxide levels in the environment. The disruption in climate patterns worldwide is largely due to fossil fuels and began in the mid to late 20th century.
Climate change also includes global warming and its impact on the earth’s weather patterns. The global reliance on fossil fuels may need to be reduced to cut gas emissions and limit the effects of climate change.
Scientists have concluded that to achieve the decarbonization required to keep the global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius; nuclear energy would have to play a role.
As Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, rightly said, “It’s time to stop burning our planet, and start investing in the abundant renewable energy all around us.” The toxic gases from fossil fuels are depleting our environment and this damage results in climate change.
The Role of Nuclear Energy In The Society
Energy is at the heart of the climate challenge, and fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas are the largest contributors to global climate change. They account for over 80% of global greenhouse emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.
For this to be achieved, a stop must be put to the total dependence and reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternate sources of energy that are clean, sustainable, and reliable.
Nuclear energy is a stellar example of clean, sustainable energy. Transitioning to nuclear energy is the best pathway to a healthier, livable planet today, and it could help preserve the earth for future generations. It is part of the solution as it is low in carbon and can be deployed on a large scale at the required time, thereby supplying the world with clean and affordable electricity.
As the world embraces large-scale technological advancement, this future appears to be pivoting towards renewable energy. In fact, according to The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 90% of the world’s electricity is estimated to come from renewable energy by 2050.
Advantages of Nuclear Energy Over Fossil Fuels
- Nuclear Energy is Easily Sourced
Unlike its fossil fuel counterpart, nuclear energy can be sourced from around us. 90% of the global population lives in a country that are net importers of fossil fuels, which means an overwhelming population depends on the importation of fossil fuels to survive.
- It is Cheaper
Interestingly, renewable energy is the cheapest power option in some parts of the world. Renewable resources could provide 65% of the world’s total electricity supply by 2030. It could also decarbonize 90% of the power sector by 2050, massively cutting carbon emissions and reducing climate change’s effect.
- It is Environmentally Friendly
Unlike greenhouse gases, dust, and sulfides which are detrimental to human health, nuclear energy is considered the most environmentally friendly resource.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 99% of people worldwide breathe air that threatens their health due to its poor quality. More than 14 million deaths worldwide could be prevented if a cleaner, healthier energy source like nuclear energy is adopted.
In summary, as much as nuclear energy seems to be the new gold in sustaining the environment, it still has an environmental concern; the creation of radioactive wastes.
However, there are various ways to reduce and dispose of radioactive waste, with the most common method being deep geological disposal.