- The president of the upcoming COP28 climate summit and two renewable energy organizations unveiled a roadmap Monday to fast-tracking the energy transition by tripling renewable power and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.
- A joint report published by the trio, which also includes the International Renewable Energy Agency and the Global Renewables Alliance, outlines key “enablers” that governments can use to initiate an energy transition plan, including infrastructure and system operations, policy and regulation, supply chains, skills and capacities, and finance.
- The energy transition goals are in line with the summit’s efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C as proposed in the Paris Agreement, and offer guidance on how to fill in the gaps regarding the implementation of the 2015 climate accord.
This year’s COP28 summit in Dubai will mark the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake — a United Nations-backed global assessment of the progress made toward achieving the Paris Agreement goals. The stocktake concluded 22 gigatons of greenhouse gasses must be removed within the next seven years to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach.
The joint report builds on COP’s goal to accelerate a transition that puts economies on “the path toward a new low-carbon, high-growth, sustainable economic model.” The group advocates for renewable energy capacity to reach more than 11,000 GW by 2030, with solar photovoltaic and wind power accounting for 90% of renewable energy capacity additions.
The adoption of such energy targets, however, is contingent on governments implementing efficient policy measures, according to the report. Countries need to focus on adopting targets within specific time horizons; establishing strong regulatory frameworks; and providing fiscal and financial incentives. The group also said policymakers must organize public campaigns to build awareness of the role of energy efficiency measures, public transport and green mobility for cost savings and broader decarbonization goals. The report said these efforts will require “strong international collaboration.”
The renewable energy transition would also need public and private financial backing to be rapidly mobilized to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency. The report estimates that annual average investment in renewable power generation must reach $1.3 trillion by 2030, compared to $486 billion in 2022.
Financial support should also be extended to the developing world, where investment risks must be minimized and low-cost financing made available. The report said the “global financial architecture must be reformed to support the energy transition” in the Global South, in addition to increasing climate-related funding from multilateral development banks and redirecting public capital from the fossil fuel sector to renewable energy.
This isn’t the first time countries have been asked to divest from fossil fuels and pivot towards the clean energy sector ahead of the climate summit. Earlier this month, a coalition representing 131 companies penned a letter urging national governments to phase out the burning of fossil fuels and scale up the production of clean energy ahead of the COP28 summit. The “Fossil to Clean” letter was signed by businesses generating nearly $1 trillion in global annual revenue collectively, including Nestlé, Ikea, eBay, Unilever and Volvo Cars.
“We are heading in the right direction, but nowhere near fast enough,” COP28 president-designate Sultan Al Jaber said at Monday’s pre-summit event. “Now more than ever we need to unite on climate and deliver a clear message of hope, solidarity, stability and prosperity. We need to show that the international community can deliver and send a clear signal that keeps 1.5 within reach."
The joint initiative was announced during an official pre-conference session in Abu Dhabi ahead of the COP28 summit, which starts Nov. 30. The climate summit will be attended by over 140 heads of state and senior government leaders.