Photo credit: UNFCCC 2022
Focus turned to energy on Day 8 of COP27. There was real concern that oil, gas and coal projects are expanding despite science warning that these fossil fuels need to stay in the ground to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
There was a call to action to move away from fossil fuels and move faster to increase our global renewable power capacity by 2030. Currently, only 29% of global electricity generation comes from renewables. 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by electricity generation so this is a key target for nations.
The outcomes for energy must also meet the needs of the 733 million people still living without access to energy.
There is a need for significant climate finance and investment into the renewable energy sector yesterday did bring some positive news in that regard:
1. The UN climate chief announced that South Africa has launched a multimillion-dollar plan to shift from coal towards green energy, calling it a key moment in the global push for the transition away from fossil fuels.
2. At the G20 in Bali, a coalition of countries, led by the United States and Japan, announced that they will be investing $20 billion to sharply reduce Indonesia’s reliance on coal and to transition the Southeast Asian nation to renewable power. Currently Indonesia is one the world’s largest consumers of coal and the world's fifth largest greenhouse emitter.
3. The COP27 Presidency launched the ‘Africa, Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative (AJAETI). To be achieved by 2027, its three key objectives are to offer technical and policy support to facilitate affordable energy for at least 300 million people in Africa; provide access to clean cooking fuels and technologies; and increase the share of renewable energy generation by 25%.
4. The Green Hydrogen Organisation, International Hydropower Association, the Global Wind Energy Council and the Global Solar Council have joined forces to launch the Planning for Climate Commission, a global initiative focused on speeding up planning and approvals for the massive deployment of renewables and green hydrogen needed to address climate change and energy security.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has committed to freely share insights from its recently launched reports into renewables.
5. The Global Renewables Alliance was launched. Organisations representing solar, wind, green hydrogen, hydropower, geothermal energy and long duration energy storage industries. This is an unprecedented step, bringing together for the first time, all the technologies required for the energy transition with the aim of accelerating energy transition.
Away from energy, Governments are focused on the final political agreement that will come out of COP27. The role of 1.5C, climate finance and loss and damage remain the key dividing points. As a reminder, all 196 nations must come to a consensus before sections can be added to the final agreement.
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