Does the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consider renewable energies “four times more effective than nuclear” against climate change, as Gadot declared?

This estimate, which covers solar and wind energy, is being carried out on a global scale and by 2030.
Question asked on April 5, 2022.

You ask us about a statement made by candidate Yannick Gadot on April 5 on BFM TV and RMC: “Yesterday’s IPCC report says renewables are four times more effective in combating climate change than nuclear power.”

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that on a planetary scale, the deployment of some energy sources, to replace others, can effectively reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

On page 50 of the “Summary for Policymakers” of the report, a graph summarizes how much reduction can be expected by 2030 compared to the 2019 base year, depending on various factors (ease of deployment of the solution, accessibility for different nations, etc.). Please note that this graph therefore reflects the fact that some energies have a greater potential for diffusion than others, not that these energies are “in themselves” more or less greenhouse gas producers.

According to the graph, wind energy in 2030 could allow an annual reduction of approximately 4 GtCO2e on a global scale (with a relative uncertainty of 1.5 tons). The contribution of solar energy will be about 4.5 gigatons (more or less than 2.5 gigatons). In the scenarios envisioned by the IPCC, nuclear power deployment by 2030 would allow a reduction of approximately 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (more or less than 0.5 gigatonnes). The order of magnitude of this contribution is equivalent to that of two other renewable energies: geothermal energy on the one hand, and biomass exploitation on the other (emitting carbon dioxide, but less than the energies it replaces).

The report’s authors note that this assessment Reliance on approximately 175 sources which together provide a fair representation of emission reduction potential across all regions [du monde]”.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, most of the cost of wind and solar energy to replace energies that emit carbon dioxide will be at a lower cost. Conversely, nuclear power will cost on average a little more than the energy it replaces. The estimate takes into account the costs associated with long-term storage of radioactive waste.

The graph is accompanied by a statement that “It is estimated that many of the options available today across all sectors offer significant potential to reduce net emissions by 2030. Relative costs and potential will vary by country, and in the longer term compared to 2030.”

Investing in renewable energy sources in France

Indeed, it should be noted that Yannick Jadot’s statement on BFMTV extends to comment on the French situation, while the IPCC is observed on a global scale. The intervention, in its context, is as follows: “We have a nuclear fleet that is aging today. Let’s put the package, first, on consumption. It’s good for purchasing power, it’s for family health. You have twelve million French people who don’t warm themselves properly today. So it helps those French, it helps all the French.” And we use renewable energy.” Yesterday’s IPCC report says that renewable energy is four times more effective in combating climate change than nuclear power.

However, the IPCC report does not make it possible to estimate the extent to which the continued deployment of renewable energies can contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the country. In France, more than 70% of electricity production is currently based on nuclear power, an energy considered carbon-neutral..

asked by CheckNewsYannick Jadot’s campaign team asserts that the latter part of this statement, like the IPCC analysis it refers to, raises concerns “all over the world”. “But reducing energy consumption and deploying renewable energies is also the fastest, cheapest (and therefore most efficient) option, by 2030, for France”as you say. “It is true that electricity production in France is low-carbon. But the most consumed energy in France is fossil fuels (64% of final consumption), and we must urgently get rid of it. On the other hand, when the nuclear fleet is partially closed as is the case at the moment , the electricity itself is getting more carbon-intensive since we imported (yesterday at 6:30 am, for example, we imported 10,350 megawatts.) So Yannick Gadot’s position is that we should invest in energy savings and renewables in France.

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