COP 28: Key leaders agree on fundamental aspects of the 1.5°C-aligned energy transition at the fifth and final Dialogue during COP28, marking a crucial milestone for a sustainable future
During COP28 in Dubai, the COP28 Presidency and the International Energy Agency's (IEA) High-Level Dialogues reached a conclusive agreement on the essential elements necessary for the energy transition.
The fifth and final dialogue, attended by over 40 high-level leaders, including Heads of State and Government, Heads of Delegation, and business leaders, marked a significant achievement for the co-chairs, COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA.
The dialogues resulted in clear agreement 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. Dr. Birol presented an ambitious and integrated package across five pillars for COP28, for which there was strong support in the room:
1. Tripling global renewable energy generation capacity by 2030.
2. Doubling annual energy efficiency improvements by 2030.
3. An orderly decline in fossil fuel use demand by 2030, starting with no new coal plants.
4. A commitment from the oil and gas industry to align their strategies and investment portfolios with 1.5°C, focusing on a 75 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2030.
5. Financing mechanisms for a significant scaling-up of clean energy investment in emerging and developing economies.
When the dialogues ended, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said, "This series of dialogues has allowed us to converge on the critical elements of the just energy transition. The transition will not be straightforward but harder if we cannot agree on its central components.
We must work together to deliver the highest possible ambitious response to the global stocktake. I am encouraged by the practical actions of world leaders today at the final dialogue, and I hope 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 commit to clean energy transitions meaningfully, for a massive increase in financing for developing economies, and an orderly decline of fossil fuel use. We need to see this support translate into concrete commitments and action."
Participants highlighted the strong support for the COP28 Presidency's Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, which 130 countries have signed. 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.
It was acknowledged that countries need to take advantage of the chance to speed up their plans for energy transition while also backing developing countries with finance and technology transfer. Initiatives like the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) were identified as an efficient approach to facilitating a fair and organised energy transition that supports developing countries.
Over a year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has supported a series of dialogues over various vital elements of the energy transition. These dialogues are conducted with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). They cover renewable energy, energy efficiency, financing, fossil fuel supply, and decarbonisation.
World leaders displayed significant ambition during the dialogue to achieve concrete targets, accelerate renewable capacity deployment, and improve energy efficiency.