G8 expected to agree to expand use of nuclear power

Group of Eight leaders were expected to agree to expand the use of civil nuclear power to fight climate change at the upcoming Toyako summit July 7-9, according to Japanese media Monday.

The world's seven largest economies and Russia expect to reach a consensus next week in Toyako, Japan, on a new initiative for the use of nuclear power while pledging three principles of nonproliferation, safety and nuclear security, Kyodo News Agency said citing a draft of a post-summit statement, reported dpa.

The draft said: "recognizing that ensuring safeguards (nuclear nonproliferation), nuclear safety and nuclear security (3S) forms a sound basis for international transparency and confidence in the sustainable development of nuclear power, we agree on a G8 initiative to assist countries in ensuring 3S."

The G8 would seek cooperation from the International Atomic Energy Agency in promoting the nuclear power and keeping the three principles so that the nuclear energy would be restricted to the peaceful use, the draft said.

Acknowledging that participation from emerging economies is essential, the group was also expected to urge China, India and other major developing nations to join global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The draft made no mention of a Japan-proposed target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but showed the G8 leaders would agree to set national goals and make action plans.

But Japan's sector-based approach was recognized as "a useful tool" to fight global warming.

Using energy efficiency in each sector as a yardstick, the sectoral approach involves determining potential reduction volumes on an industry-by-industry, area-by-area basis that would then be tallied for a quantified national target. Areas include offices, households and transportation.

The leaders will give a positive assessment of market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading and carbon taxes in cutting emissions, saying such measures "can provide pricing signals and have the potential to develop and deploy climate-friendly technologies in the private sector."

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