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Nations rally behind renewables with pledges to triple capacity by 2030

By RFI
Climate AFP - EMMANUEL CROSET
DEC 2, 2023 LISTEN
AFP - EMMANUEL CROSET

At least 118 countries on Saturday signed up to a commitment to triple the world's renewable energy capacity by 2030. The deal came as world-leaders gathered for a third day of the Cop28 summit in Dubai.

G20 nations, which account for nearly 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, paved the way for a deal when they endorsed the renewable energy goal in September.

The countries will "work together" to bring global renewable energy generation capacity to at least 11,000 gigawatts by the end of the decade, said the Cop28 presidency in Dubai.

"They also commit to work together in order to collectively double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements" to more than four percent per year, it said.

Commitments non-binding

While supporters are expected to push for the pledge to be included in the final outcome of the talks, there are fears that the Cop28 hosts were willing to shunt the more ambitious targets into voluntary deals.

The European Union first appealed for the new target earlier this year, and the cause has since been taken up by Cop28 hosts the United Arab Emirates, then the G7 and G20 groups of nations.

However, the commitments are non-binding.
Scaling up wind, solar and other renewable energies are crucial to the global goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The pledge to triple renewable energy sends "a very strong message to investors and financial markets" that "the whole world is moving towards that goal", European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told AFP.

Getting the deal into the final UN climate summit decision require consensus among the nearly 200 countries present.

While China and India have signalled support for tripling global renewable energy by 2030, neither has confirmed it will back the overall pledge – which pairs the ramp-up in clean power with a reduction in fossil fuel use.

Fossil fuel reduction

The nearly 200 nations negotiating a Cop28 climate deal face tougher talks over the next two weeks on the fate of fossil fuels.

Colombia on Saturday became one of the largest fossil fuel producers to join a group of climate vulnerable island nations calling to end new development of planet-heating coal, oil and gas.

According to a statement from the initiative, Colombian Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said it was “frightening” that governments around the world continued to plan to expand their fossil fuel exploitation.

Scientists, as well as the International Energy Agency and the UN's Environment Programme, have warned that significant new development of coal, oil and gas is incompatible with the international community's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

(with AFP)

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