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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Group calls on COP28 to agree on essential energy package

As the UN Climate Talks (COP28) kicks off in Dubai, where a global renewable energy target is poised for adoption, 350.org is calling on country delegations to agree to a binding energy package to tackle the climate crisis.

COP28
COP28 opening session

Concretely, COP28 needs to agree to:

  • Triple fair, safe, and clean renewable energy capacity by 2030 and deploy 1.5 terawatts per year thereafter
  • Double energy efficiency by 2030
  • Completely phase out fossil fuels by 2050

As experts warn, 2023 will almost certainly be the hottest year on record, limiting global heating to within 1.5°C is of utmost urgency and cannot be achieved without a global renewable energy target.

However, for the global renewable energy transition to be implemented at the speed, scale, and equitability necessary, it must be accompanied by a comprehensive package that includes the phase-out of fossil fuels and a finance package for the Global South.

May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director, says: “COP28 presents an opportunity for a long overdue course correction: a global renewable energy target, poised for adoption, is a crucial step towards limiting global heating to below 1.5 degrees. However, it must come with commitments to finance the just transition in the Global South and a rapid, equitable phase out of fossil fuels. 350.org is at COP28 to ensure climate justice is centred in the negotiations, and working with movement partners on the ground, to ensure the voices of those most impacted by the climate crisis take centre stage.”

Andreas Sieber, 350.org Associate Director of Global Policy, says: “To achieve the proposed global renewable energy target by 2030, massive growth in financial investment into renewable energy is required in the Global South outside China, from both private and public sources. Barriers such as debt and the inequitable cost of capital in the Global South significantly hinder investment in renewable energy. To facilitate the global renewable energy transition, we need debt cancellation at scale, $100 billion in concessional finance per year, and $200 billion in grants per year.”

“A renewable energy target at COP28 will only constitute a meaningful step towards climate justice if it is accompanied by a clear roadmap for implementation that includes equitable mechanisms and commitments in the financial and policy realms, as well as an urgent and equitable phase-out of fossil fuels. Without these, any agreement would represent a hollow, ‘easy win’, and risk allowing polluting countries to hide behind a renewables goal while continuing to emit fossil fuels.”

Landry Ninteretse, Regional Director, 350Africa.org, says: “For communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, an equitable global shift away from fossil fuels to safe and sustainable renewable energy is an absolute necessity, as they have felt the catastrophic climate impacts for decades. At COP28, we expect leaders to commit to significantly scaling up investment in renewable energy and supporting plans for the tripling of renewable energy capacity by 2030, while prioritising the phase-out of fossil fuels.

“Wealthy nations must respond with the scale and urgency that matches the escalating climate crisis by delivering on a clear plan for climate adaptation finance, loss and damage and enhancing the support for African countries to undertake nationally determined just transition pathways.”

Furthermore, the COP28’s final decision text must be underpinned by a legal framework, rely solely on proven renewable energy technologies like wind and solar, and include commitments by all parties to the conference to implement the mechanisms and conditions necessary to facilitate the success of a global renewable energy target and a just transition away from fossil fuels.

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