The chair of next month’s COP28 climate meeting and two renewable energy groups urged governments on Monday to increase their renewable energy capacity by 2030 as part of efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Countries seek to reach an agreement on capacity expansion at the latest round of global climate talks, which will begin in late November in Dubai and will focus on gaps in the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which established the 1.5°C limit.
Renewable energy capacity must “exceed 11,000 GW” by 2030, according to a joint report by the United Arab Emirates’ COP28 chair, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the Global Renewables Alliance.
Most major economies have already committed to this goal. In September, a group of 20 nations, including China, the United States, and India, decided to pursue efforts to treble global renewable energy capacity by 2030.
Scientists predict that unless CO2 emissions are reduced rapidly, the Earth will exceed the 1.5°C barrier in the following decade, resulting in significantly more severe climate change effects on humans, wildlife, and ecosystems.
However, reaching an agreement among the almost 200 countries that attend COP28 sessions would be difficult. European nations and climate-vulnerable states say that agreeing to scale up sustainable energy is insufficient unless governments simultaneously agree to phase out the polluting energy that is creating the climate problem.
They argue that a renewable energy agreement at COP28 must be accompanied by a promise to phase out CO2-emitting fossil fuels – a pledge that has been met with opposition from several fossil fuel-dependent economies.
The UAE’s Sultan al Jaber will lead the COP28 meetings, an arrangement that has sparked criticism from certain US and EU parliamentarians, as well as activists because he is the CEO of state oil firm ADNOC and the UAE’s climate ambassador.