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COP28 and IEA High-Level Dialogues see concensus on energy transition

Tripling global renewable power generation capacity by 2030 is one of the pillars agreed. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The COP28 and International Energy Agency (IEA) High-Level Dialogues, co-chaired by COP28 resident Dr Sultan Al Jaber and Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, concluded with strong consensus on the key elements of the energy transition 

More than 40 high-level global leaders, including four Heads of State, participated in the final session, with clear convergence on the building blocks of a 1.5 °C-aligned energy transition and strong support for an ambitious decision on the Global Stocktake at COP28.

There was strong support for the package across five pillars set out by Dr Birol:

Tripling global renewable power generation capacity by 2030.

Doubling annual energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

An orderly decline of fossil fuel use demand by 2030, starting with no new coal plants.

Commitment from the oil and gas industry to align their strategies and investment portfolios with 1.5 °C, with a focus on a 75% reduction in methane emissions by 2030.

Financing mechanisms for a major scaling up of clean energy investment in emerging and developing economies.

There was also acknowledgement that countries must seize the opportunity to develop and accelerate their own energy transition plans, while supporting developing countries with finance and technology transfer. Initiatives such as the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) were highlighted as an effective mechanism for enabling a just and orderly energy transition that supports developing countries.

Dr Al Jaber said, “This series of dialogues has helped us to reach convergence on some of the critical elements of the energy transition. This work is crucial in building momentum to deliver the most ambitious response possible to the Global Stocktake, bridging the gaps to 2030, and helping us keep 1.5 °C – our North Star – in reach. I am encouraged by the practical actions brought forward by world leaders today at the final dialogue, and I hope that you take this open mindset and optimism throughout this COP.”

Dr Birol commented, “I’m encouraged by the support by governments around the world during the dialogue for the IEA’s five pillars for success at COP28, including the need by 2030 for tripling renewable capacity, for doubling energy efficiency improvements, for the oil and gas industry to meaningful commitment to clean energy transitions, for a massive increase in financing for developing economies, and for an orderly decline of fossil fuel use. We now need to see this support translate into concrete commitments and action.”

Attendees highlighted the strong support for the COP28 Presidency’s Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, which to date has been signed by 127 countries. There was broad agreement on the need for urgent action on coal, not only on no new unabated coal plants, but also on accelerating the retirement of existing plants.

The series of Dialogues have been conducted in conjunction with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).