Environmental group says UN summit must see decisive action on fossil fuels

In the lead up to the COP28 summit in the UAE environmental group Greenpeace international has reacted to an International Energy Agency’s (IEA) new report by urging governments to act and ban fossil fuel investments.

The IEA issued the latest edition of their world energy outlook in which it predicted a major change in the world’s energy sector by the end of the decade.

It stated the world is about undergo an “unstoppable” energy shift with the way homes and business are powered and the vehicles we drive transformed by the end of the decade.

The IEA said the phenomenal rise of clean energy technologies such as solar, wind, electric cars and heat pumps is reshaping how we power everything from factories and vehicles to home appliances and heating systems.

The outlook added by 2030 clean technologies will have a significantly greater role than today. This includes almost 10 times as many electric cars on the road worldwide; solar PV generating more electricity than the entire US power system does currently; renewables’ share of the global electricity mix nearing 50%, up from around 30% today; heat pumps and other electric heating systems outselling fossil fuel boilers globally; and three times as much investment going into new offshore wind projects than into new coal- and gas-fired power plants.

In response to publication of the outlook, Kaisa Kosonen, (pic) Policy Coordinator, Greenpeace International said while the parts are now in place it will need concerted action from governments if the world is to drive a viable transition.

“We now have everything we need to solve this crisis but it hinges on governments acting with the political courage to make a fast and fair plan to end climate-wrecking fossil fuels,” she explained. “The priority of this year’s UN Climate Conference has to be a global agreement to end the use of oil, coal and gas urgently and fairly, starting with an immediate end to all new fossil fuel projects.

“Solar and wind energy are set to grow exponentially, making clean, renewable energy more attractive, accessible and economical than ever before – but that alone won’t deliver if leaders fail to regulate fossil fuels out of the way. Renewable energy and efficiency goals are welcome but must be accompanied by a commitment to phase out climate-wrecking fossil fuels, with a substantial decline this critical decade.”

Kosonen added world governments could no longer support new fossil fuel projects whilst claiming they were playing a part in the fioght against global warming.

“Every new fossil fuel project is in stark violation of the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C warming limit – leaders simply cannot claim to be in support of global action on climate change while supporting fossil fuel expansion,” she explained. “We need a fast and fair plan to phase-out polluting fossil fuels that are killing us. Those who’ve polluted and profited the most must be made accountable and financially support the most vulnerable people, communities, and countries in their transition to clean, renewable energy.”