Civil society declaration calls for a critical decade of clean energy collaboration

Presented to Heads of Delegations at the Canada-UK Nuclear Energy Summit on Thursday 5 March 2020

Civil Society Declaration Calls for a

Critical Decade of Clean Energy Collaboration

The signing in London yesterday of the Canada-UK Nuclear Cooperation Action Plan is a welcome demonstration of determination to do more and to go faster in realising the clean energy system we need.

We applaud the commitment and vision shown by UK and Canadian Governments, but note that at their current scale, the Canadian and British programmes will only play a small, albeit meaningful, role towards the reinvention of global energy supply demanded by the climate crisis.

The collaborative spirit admirably demonstrated by Canada and the UK is a great start. We can now build on it with a new commitment to rapidly commercialise these valuable technologies.

The scale of our ambition must be commensurate to the scale and urgency required by our current predicament. These products must be designed to address the scale of the needed global clean energy transition. All of the modelling shows that we will need these technologies if we are to transform a significant percentage of our total energy consumption, currently dominated by fossil fuels, by mid-century.

The last decade has seen the development of wind and solar into affordable technologies that can make major contributions to the decarbonisation of electricity.

In this critical decade we must expand the suite of clean energy options to include nuclear products that are cost competitive, easier to buy, easier to deliver, present lower risk to investors and can meet a broad range of market applications.

In addition to the supply of electricity, which is only one fifth of energy consumption, advanced reactors have the potential to supply heat to homes, businesses and industrial processes; to produce hydrogen and synthetic fuels that will support a transition in transport and the difficult sectors of aviation and shipping; to desalinate seawater in regions suffering water scarcity; to support access to modern energy services in remote and developing communities; as well as to repower the existing global fleet of coal plants as part of a just transition.

We recognise that forthcoming small modular reactor technologies can enable sustainable development and deep decarbonisation simultaneously. We applaud yesterday’s commitment by the UK and Canada to realise SMR potential, and we call on all capable countries to collaborate to accelerate the development and commercialisation of advanced reactor technology during the 2020s for rapid global deployment at scale.

Dr James E. Hansen Climate Scientist and former Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (US)

Kirsty Gogan Global Director, Energy for Humanity

Bertha Dlamini President, African Women in Energy and Power (South Africa)

Eric Ingersoll Co-Founder, Energy Options Network (US)

Mark Lynas Climate author (UK)

Alan Leighton National Secretary, Prospect (UK} 

Kristin Zaitz and Heather Matteson Mothers for Nuclear (US) 

Dr Jenifer Baxter Chief Engineer, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK) 

Professor Jacopo Buongiorno Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

Jerry Hopwood President, University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE)

Professor David Novog NSERC Industrial Research Chair, McMaster University (Canada)

Armond Cohen Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force (US)

Professor Jatin Nathwani Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Dr T Ben Britton (he/him) CEng, CSci, FIMMM,  Imperial College London (UK)

Suzanne Hobbs Baker Creative Director, Fastest Path to Zero Initiative University of Michigan (US)  

Rauli Partanen Co-Founder, CEO THINK ATOM 

Jessica Lovering PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University 

Staffan Qvist Author, A Bright Future (Sweden)

Mark Yelland Founder, Greens for Nuclear Energy (UK)

Kirk Atkinson Director, Centre for Small Modular Reactors, Ontario Tech University (Canada)

Tea Törmänen Chairwoman, The Ecomodernist Society of Finland

Iida Ruishalme Mothers for Nuclear (EU)

Myrto Tripathi Founder and Chair, Voix du Nucléaire (France)

David J Watson, Generation Atomic

Take Aanstoot Chair, Swedish Ecomodernists

Amber Von Ruden North America Young Generation Network (NAYGN) VP (USA)

Matthew Mairinger, P.Eng North America Young Generation Network (NAYGN) Canadian Operating Officer (Canada)

Dr Simon Friederich University of Groningen (Netherlands) and  Cofounder German Ecomodernists (Germany)

Tim Yeo Chairman, New Nuclear Watch Institute (EU)

Professor Giorgio Locatelli (UK)

Josh Freed Senior Vice President for the Climate and Energy Program Third Way (US)

Dr Todd Moss Executive Director, Energy for Growth Hub (US)

Shahnaz Hoque, University of Oxford (UK)

Rick Anderson, Advisor, Canadian Business for Climate Policy (Canada)

Kenneth N. Luongo, President, Partnership for Global Security and Global Nexus Initiative (US)

Lisa McBride President, Women in Nuclear (Canada)


Download a pdf of the Civil Society Declaration – Critical Decade for Clean Energy Collaboration here.