Our Industry > Nuclear Power: Clean Energy for the Future > Preventing Catastrophic Climate Change
Preventing Catastrophic Climate Change
Humanity cannot go backwards. A burgeoning world population will require vast amounts of energy to:
- Provide fresh water
- Energize factories, homes and transportation
- Support infrastructures for nutrition, education and health care.
Meeting these needs will require energy from all sources. But the world’s energy ‘mix’ must quickly evolve – away from indiscriminate use of fossil fuel. Reducing consumption of fossil fuel will preserve the environment – and irreplaceable resources – for future generations.
Stabilizing the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases requires that worldwide emissions be cut by 50%. This challenge is made even greater by the need to raise living standards in poorer countries. Even if developing countries embrace conservation and clean-energy technologies, their enormous populations will soon emit more greenhouse gases than the existing industrialized world. In order to ‘make way’ for these increased emissions – while reducing the global total – today’s industrialized countries must cut emissions by 75%.
To curb emissions while expanding energy supplies, the world urgently needs a massive introduction of low-emission energy technologies. Conceivably, tomorrow’s mega-cities could function with few direct emissions – by using electricity, electrically charged batteries, and fuel cells using electrically produced hydrogen.
But electricity is only a way of distributing energy. The key is to generate vastly expanded supplies of electricity cleanly.
(excerpted from World Nuclear Association's autoessay "Energy for Sustainable Development")