COP28: A chance to course-correct on the global clean energy transition | مركز سمت للدراسات

COP28: A chance to course-correct on the global clean energy transition

Date & time : Monday, 25 September 2023


Ursula von der Leyen is president of the European Commission; Sultan Al-Jaber is president-designate for COP28 and UAE special envoy for climate change; William Ruto is president of Kenya; Mia Mottley is prime minister of Barbados; Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency; Francesco La Camera is director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The world is not on track to meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement; the global clean energy transition is dangerously off-course.

The Global Stocktake report of the Paris Agreement reconfirms what we already know and feel in our everyday lives. This year will be among the hottest on record and wildfires, droughts, floods, and extreme weather attributed to climate change have caused devastating losses and damage around the globe.

The United Nations Environment Programme suggests that the effects of climate change would cost countries around the world up to $300 billion a year by 2030.

But there is hope. We are determined to have an impact on the future of our planet. We can still get back on track by taking urgent action now. We can still pull what we believe are amongst the most important levers to cut emissions: accelerating the deployment of renewables and energy efficiency.

The solutions are technologically mature and cost-competitive. As well as providing cleaner energy and reducing demand for less clean energy, deploying renewables and energy efficiency can bring about countless additional benefits. They create future-proof jobs, reinvigorate our environment and improve air quality, thus safeguarding our collective health and well-being.

They can also put us on track for more equitable, sustainable industrialization, including in emerging and developing countries. After all, we are in this together. While renewables and energy efficiency are not the only answers to tackling climate change, they hold the key to getting the world back on track to meet the 1.5C goal before it is out of reach.

World needs global pledge on renewables, energy efficiency

We have the solutions at hand, and we have already made huge strides in expanding the world’s renewable energy capacity and becoming more energy efficient in recent years. But the progress has been too slow so far. As the analysis by both the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has shown, we must collectively triple renewable energy capacity worldwide to 11,000 GW and in the same timeframe, we need to double annual energy efficiency improvements globally.

These goals are achievable through stronger policy action that can build on the current momentum. Deployment of solar and wind power is soaring around the world as countries increasingly recognize their energy security benefits. And close to 50 governments, brought together by the IEA, signed the recent Versailles Statement that committed to the target of doubling energy efficiency. But we need to set a global ambition — a common horizon — to rally all countries behind these critical objectives and send a powerful signal to all of humanity.

The importance and necessity of a regional approach cannot be overstated in achieving climate targets and facilitating a fair and equitable transition to sustainable energy systems. Around the world, we must simultaneously address pressures with regional specificities.

In small island states, particularly vulnerable to climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency offer the perspective of a rapid decarbonization of small, often non-interconnected energy systems. In Africa, while nearly 600 million Africans lack access to electricity and almost a billion have no access to clean cooking, the abundance of renewable resources offers a brighter outlook to provide reliable, cost-effective energy access to all by 2030.

We must harness the full force of global collaboration by propelling it through robust national and regional approaches and initiatives, amplifying the promising momentum generated at this week’s Africa Climate Summit, and carrying it forward through the G20 and forthcoming climate weeks en route to COP28.

COP28 will offer the world a critical chance to course-correct on climate change. No country can do it alone. The fight against climate change is this century’s defining challenge for humankind.

As a first step, we must act together in solidarity and deliver critical action internationally and domestically according to differing national circumstances, including enhancing domestic targets, strategies, policies, and Nationally Determined Contributions in the remainder of this decade. This includes ensuring increased financing, particularly in developing countries, strengthening grids and related infrastructure, ensuring timely permitting, and structuring market rules to incentivize investment.

Every year counts to ensure we remain on track. We call on all governments to endorse this common endeavor — a global pledge to triple renewable energy capacity and double annual energy efficiency improvements by 2030, and to accelerate a just and environmentally responsible clean energy transition.

Let us seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity hand-in-hand at COP28 and keep 1.5C within reach for the benefit of all as well as the next generation.

Source: politico


Subscripe to be the first to know about our updates!

Follow US

Follow our latest news and services through our Twitter account