Nuclear4Climate press release: Sweden, Finland, and Norway to receive Climate Champion of the Day Award at COP24

Press release, December, 4. 2018

Climate Award goes to three Nordic countries that have made huge strides in decarbonization with a combination of clean energy technologies.

The Climate Champion of the Day Award was designed to recognize countries that are making large leaps forward in reducing their carbon emissions by developing and deploying a variety of low carbon technologies.  Conceived in response to the “Fossil of the Day” award (which shames countries that are not doing enough), the Climate Champion Award highlights success stories in decarbonization. The first awards will be presented at the beginning of the “Inclusive Energy Mix” side event, put on by Nuclear for Climate in the Bug Room (MCK) at 15:00 on 04/12/18. There will be a performance of the Climate Champion Song to celebrate the honor.  For the first awards, the organizers chose three nordic countries that have already decarbonized large parts of their energy system, or are well on their way to doing so.

Sweden was the first country chosen because they decarbonized their electricity sector decades ago with vast amounts of hydroelectric and nuclear energy.  Now, with the highest price on carbon in the world, they’re making rapid progress in the industrial and transportation sectors. Their excess hydro capacity is often used to balance the demand of neighboring countries with more intermittent power systems. Their grid’s carbon intensity hovers around 50 gCO2/kWh, making it among the cleanest in the world.

Norway was the second country chosen. Endowed with tremendous hydroelectric resources, Norway has one of the cleanest grids of any European country. They also continue to sit comfortably on the cutting edge of utility-scale generation innovation by employing not only carbon capture but sea-bed tidal technologies.  All of these things provide exemplary charging opportunities for their growing fleet of electric cars. They are well on their way to complete decarbonization, as their electricity currently only generates around 40gCO2/kWh.

Finland, the third country chosen produces about 5 times the CO2/kWh that Norway and Sweden do, but they’re taking concrete steps to put an end to fossil fuel consumption. To do this, they recently passed 20-year lifetime extensions for Olkiluoto 1 and Olkiluoto 2 to keep churning out low-carbon power over the coming decades. Knowing that they’ll have another nuclear unit coming online in the next few years has given them the confidence to ban coal for energy use after 2029. The Finnish Green Party has taken notice of nuclear energy’s contribution in the fight against climate change, and recently decided to take a technology-inclusive stance on nuclear energy, citing the “wellbeing of humanity" as their highest priority.