The COP28 UAE Presidency and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have launched a new initiative which has been designed to super charge the lead up to the event in the UAE later this year.
The two organisations have convened the first in a series of high-level dialogues through to COP28 around building a 1.5°C-aligned energy transition. The initiative is being conducted in conjunction with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The IEA said the dialogues are intended to build consensus on 1.5°C-compatible energy transition pathways and the enabling conditions needed to achieve them, as well as momentum around the target energy outcomes for COP28.
The meetings are being co-chaired by COP28 president-designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber and Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA. They said the aim is to engage public- and private-sector decision-makers in the energy industry to provide a holistic, global view of the energy system. The dialogues will prepare the ground for specific commitments and calls to action at the World Climate Action Summit being held at COP28.
The first session was held on Friday on the sidelines of the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial, alongside the G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting in Goa, India. Participants at the meeting included various country delegates and private sector representatives.
Al Jaber said of the initiative: “COP28 represents a milestone opportunity for the world to come together, unite around decisive action, and drive progress towards keeping the goals of the Paris Agreement alive and 1.5°C within reach. This will require a collective effort and so we need everyone at the table – and that includes the energy industry.
“Building a new energy system can only happen at speed and scale with united action on the supply and the demand side together. These high-level dialogues are bringing public- and private-sector energy decision makers together under the framework of a COP for the first time. They will help redesign the relationship between policymakers, the biggest energy producers, and the biggest industrial consumers. This is one of my Presidency’s key priorities and will be a crucial step in building consensus on how best to deliver the energy system of the future.”
“The IEA has put forward a comprehensive energy package that can help make COP28 a success,” added Birol. “This includes tripling global renewables capacity, doubling energy efficiency progress, slashing emissions from the oil and gas industry, boosting clean energy finance for developing economies, redirecting fossil fuel investment into clean energy, and putting fossil fuel demand into sharp decline.
“The IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario is widely recognised as the global benchmark for efforts to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach, so we are pleased to be working with the COP28 Presidency to lead these important international dialogues to drive stronger ambition and implementation, which is what is urgently needed. Every stakeholder must play their part – including oil and gas producers, which need to set out and deliver on aggressive targets to cut their emissions by 2030.”
The IEA and IRENA will provide data and technical analysis to set the stage for informed discussions, inviting others as appropriate. This will include the current state of the global energy landscape, and potential pathways, solutions and actions required to accelerate the transition in a just and equitable manner.
Francesco La Camera, director general of IRENA, explained: “Our collective promise was to secure a climate-safe existence for current and future generations. We simply cannot continue with incremental changes. There is no time for a new energy system to evolve gradually over centuries, as was the case for the fossil fuel-based system. IRENA centres the renewables-based energy transition as the most realistic climate solution and calls for a tripling of annual renewable energy additions to keep global warming within 1.5°C.
“Achieving this requires overcoming systemic barriers across infrastructure, policy, and institutional settings in the coming years. The high-level dialogues will play an important role in galvanising momentum towards the energy objectives of COP28, driving actionable policies and investment decisions through a shared understanding.”