Last Energy

The Road to COP28: The Global Net Zero Nuclear Initiative

On the road to The United Nations (UN) Annual Climate Conference, which brings together world leaders, ministers, and negotiators to agree on how to address climate change, Net Zero Nuclear worked through strategic engagement at key events around the world culminating with an “unprecedented nuclear prominence” at COP28.

Hana Chabinsky

The Net Zero Nuclear Initiative 

Net Zero Nuclear (NZN) is a worldwide effort spearheaded by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Backed by the Atoms4NetZero campaign from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), NZN emphasizes the crucial importance of nuclear power in reaching a carbon-neutral horizon by 2050.

The Net Zero Nuclear Mission

  • Official recognition of nuclear energy as clean energy source for decarbonization
  • Advocating for the tripling of global capacity by 2050
  • Ensure nuclear energy potential is full realized as we work to decarbonize our global energy systems by promoting the value of nuclear energy and removing barriers to its growth

The Net Zero Nuclear Objectives

  1. Secure recognition for nuclear energy as a clean energy source for decarbonization and promote its value as part of an evidence-based approach to a secure and inclusive energy transition
  2. Unite the industry with civil society, advocates, investors and other key players to create the widest reach and impact on the role nuclear energy can play in achieving Net Zero
  3. Establish the right social, political and economic drivers for nuclear's inclusion and deployment in our current and future energy systems, and remove barriers towards its use
  4. Facilitate partnerships across the energy sector and with industry to drive rapid deployment at scale, of both large-scale reactors and advanced technologies such as SMRs, in established and new nuclear nations
  5. Empower young people and others concerned by climate change, by engaging with, listening to, and providing information on the role nuclear energy can play in solving climate change and energy security issues alongside other clean sources of power.

The Road to COP28 

Following a pivotal year for nuclear energy, NZN launched in September 2023 at the World Nuclear Symposium in London. On the road to The United Nations (UN) Annual Climate Conference, which brings together world leaders, ministers, and negotiators to agree on how to address climate change, NZN worked through strategic engagement at key events around the world culminating with an “unprecedented nuclear prominence” at COP28.

World Nuclear Symposium

6-8 September 2023 | London

eading figures in the nuclear industry, including top executives and specialists, gathered in London, United Kingdom, for the World Nuclear Symposium to kick off the Net Zero Nuclear initiative. The focus of this assembly was to exchange knowledge and insights, with the goal of advancing nuclear energy's role in the move towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Credit: World Nuclear Association 

Atlantic Council Nuclear Energy Policy Summit: Accelerating Net Zero Nuclear

18 September 2023 | New York

The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, in collaboration with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, hosted the inaugural Nuclear Energy Policy Summit:  Accelerating Net Zero Nuclear. This event coincided with New York Climate Week and the United Nations General Assembly. The Summit focused on the crucial role of nuclear energy in achieving a net-zero target by 2050, offering “an unparalleled opportunity to situate nuclear energy at the center of the conversation around climate and financing the energy transition”. 

Last Energy announced our partnership with the Net Zero Nuclear initiative, joining forces with other industry leaders to champion nuclear energy as a key player in achieving global carbon neutrality by 2050.

Last Energy's VP, Strategy, Michelle Brechtelsbauer during the Net Zero Nuclear Corporate Partnership Signing Ceremony. Credit: World Nuclear Association 

IAEA General Conference

25 September | Vienna

The 67th IAEA General Conference commenced in Vienna this past September where member states, NGOs, and industry leaders came together to discuss a range of issues, including meeting net zero goals with nuclear power. Last Energy participated in the Conference as a delegate of the U.S. Department of Commerce trade mission. 

Last Energy's Director of Government Relations, Ryan Duncan, and Director of International Affairs, Madeline Hibbs-Magruder, discuss nuclear policy and advocacy during the IAEA General Conference.

IAEA 2nd Conference on Climate Change and the role of Nuclear Power

9-13 October |  Vienna

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi delivers his statement at the Second International Conference on Climate Change and the role of Nuclear Power 2023: Atoms4NetZero, held in Vienna, Austria this week. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

The 2nd IAEA International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power (Atoms4NetZero) in Vienna, advocated for a "level playing field" in energy policies and access to financing to maximize nuclear power's contribution to climate change mitigation and energy security. 

With nearly 550 participants from 81 countries and 26 organizations, the conference highlighted nuclear energy's pivotal role in addressing climate change, recognizing the need to overcome challenges for large-scale deployment. Participants emphasized the importance of long-term energy policies, innovative market designs, and sustainable finance frameworks. 

The IAEA's Atoms4NetZero initiative aims to bridge this gap by providing comprehensive energy scenario modeling and highlighting nuclear power's role in achieving net-zero emissions.

World Nuclear Exhibition

28-30 November |  Paris

The World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) is the leading event for the nuclear energy industry, attracting businesses, leaders, innovators, and other key stakeholders within the civil nuclear industry to discuss and shape the future of energy. With around 780 participating entities from all over the world, the WNE covers the entire nuclear supply chain and provides opportunities for industry development, collaboration, and knowledge exchange. 

Last Energy's Chief of Staff, Olivia Columbus, sits down with Miss America 2023 and Nuclear Energy Advocate Grace Stanke during the World Nuclear Exhibition to discuss what the future of nuclear holds.

Net Zero Nuclear Summit during COP28

30 November - 12 December | United Arab Emirates

Last Energy was actively involved throughout the Net Zero Nuclear Summit—a united presence and unprecedented industry engagement during COP28. We took part in important discussions, spoke on two key panels, “Nuclear Energy’s Potential as a Zero-Carbon Energy Source for Industry” and “Trailblazers in Innovation,” and pledged to support efforts to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050, agreed upon by several governments in the Ministerial Declaration. 

VP, Strategy of Last Energy, Michelle Brechtelsbauer, speaking during COP28's "Nuclear Energy’s Potential as a Zero-Carbon Energy Source for Industry" panel.

Last Energy and Net Zero Nuclear

Our partnership with NZN at COP28 demonstrates Last Energy's commitment to a sustainable future and our proactive approach in leading the global energy conversation. Last Energy is uniquely positioned to support the initiatives of COP28 and NZN because of our ability to deploy nuclear power plants in 24 months, enabling rapid decarbonization by 2050. 

With the largest pipeline of new nuclear projects under development in the world, Last Energy highlights the tremendous demand from industry for clean electricity and heat solutions. Net Zero Nuclear is a crucial initiative that comes at a critical time for the nuclear sector to assemble at COP28 and demonstrate a pathway for the rapid deployment of new nuclear capacity globally in pursuit of our shared zero-emission goals. Last Energy’s involvement not only amplifies our voice in the industry but also offers unparalleled opportunities for collaboration, networking, and growth.

Representatives from some of the 120 companies that signed the Net Zero Nuclear Industry Pledge

Michelle Brechtelsbauer showing support for the Net Zero Nuclear initiative.