Coalition of world leaders calls for tripling renewable energy – POLITICO
Leaders from the EU, Africa and the Caribbean have issued a united demand for the world to set targets that would transform the global energy system before a child born today is halfway through primary school.
In an article published Saturday on POLITICO’s website, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President of Kenya William Ruto and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley called for the world to set “a common horizon,” namely global goals to triple renewable energy capacity and double annual savings of energy use by 2030.
They issued their statement in the wake of a dire U.N. report on the state of global climate efforts released Friday. Sultan Al-Jaber, the United Arab Emirates official leading the COP28 U.N. climate talks that start in November, was also a signatory on the article.
“COP28 will offer the world a critical chance to course-correct on climate change,” they said in the article.
The leaders have previously made these demands individually, but they said they would collectively pressure other leaders. That campaign would start immediately on Saturday at the G20 summit in India, where von der Leyen will lobby the heads of the world’s largest economies to join their coalition.
“We need major economies to play a major role in setting global targets for renewables growth and energy efficiency. If the G20 can make progress on this issue it will be an important stepping stone towards COP28,” an EU official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told POLITICO.
The scaling up of clean power, coupled with the overall drop in usage, would erode the dominance of fossil fuels in the global energy mix.
That presents a huge challenge for traditional energy exporters, many of whom will be represented at the G20. That includes the UAE and other oil-rich Middle Eastern nations.
The U.N. said Friday that nations’ collective policies had the world on course to warm by more than 2 degrees above average global temperature at the start of the industrial age.
The International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency have both said that holding the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees — a final frontier beyond which climate disasters will escalate in dramatic and permanent fashion — will be impossible unless the goals proposed by the leaders are met this decade. The heads of both agencies were also authors of the article.
Yet 2023 is set to be a record year for both energy efficiency and renewables globally, with prices for many clean technologies now out-competing dirtier alternatives.
“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,” the leaders wrote.
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