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Nuclear key to UN climate deal say France and UK

Joint statement says atomic power will play “critical role” in cost-effective low carbon transition

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The French and British governments say nuclear energy will lie at the heart of ensuring the world weans itself off carbon polluting fossil fuels.

A statement released after a day of meetings between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and France President Francois Hollande says nuclear power has a “critical role to play in a cost-effective low carbon transition”.

It adds: “Today, we reiterated our resolve to work together towards achieving an ambitious and legally-binding agreement at the next COP in Paris in 2015, and to support an EU-wide emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030.”

Excellent meeting with my French counterpart Phillipe Martin: UK & France working together for ambitious EU climate change package
— Edward Davey (@EdwardDaveyMP) January 31, 2014

The UK and France supported a recent EU decision to aim for a 40% decarbonisation target for 2030, which was opposed by some smaller countries and the region’s energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

But both also opposed a high renewable energy target. The UK has aspirations to develop its shale gas reserves, while France has a huge nuclear sector.

Earlier today the UK’s largest nuclear site was closed after a radiation alarm was triggered by what officials say was a rise in ‘naturally occurring’ radon gas

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