UN climate chief watchful of Japan nuclear mishap

March 25, 2011 04:50

MEXICO CITY - Climate change officials are watching to see if Japan's nuclear accident will prompt wealthy countries to scrap their own nuclear energy plans in favor of more traditional fuels that worsen global warming, a UN official said on Thursday.

The crisis at a Japanese nuclear plant damaged after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami has already led some other nations to reconsider or slow the development of nuclear plants in the near term, said Christiana Figueres, head of the climate change secretariat.

"It is very difficult to predict what we will see from here -- whether this will mean a slow development of nuclear energy and what that will mean for some countries' goals (to curb greenhouse gases)," she told reporters after a two-day conference in the Mexican capital.

Nuclear energy has been promoted by some as a non-carbon source of power and if fewer such plans come online, those countries will have to seek energy from other sources, she said.

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