Tripling renewables not agreed upon at G20 meet, indicates COP28 prez-designate
Sultan Al Jaber expressed concern that his call last week at the G20 clean energy ministerial meeting in Goa for this is “yet to find expression” in outcomes of the intergovernmental forum
Hours before a communique was expected at the G20 environment and climate sustainability ministers meeting in Chennai, Sultan Al Jaber, the president-designate of the UN Climate Meeting (COP28) in Dubai in November, indicated the goal to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 has not been agreed upon.
In a speech at the meeting, Al Jaber expressed concern that his call last week at the G20 clean energy ministerial meeting in Goa for this is “yet to find expression” in outcomes of the intergovernmental forum.
He cited its importance to the goal of keeping global warming under 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels within reach. “As a group, the G20 represents 85% of the world’s GDP and 80% of the emissions. What you decide will have a huge influence on outcomes for everyone and everywhere,” Al Jaber said. “There is still time for G20 to show leadership, and I am calling on all of you to work with your leaders to drive global climate action in this critical decade.”
He said they issued a joint statement on Thursday with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Simon Stiell, calling on the G20 to show leadership in closing the gaps across all of the pillars of the Paris Agreement and help the world get on track to keep 1.5°C within reach.
“I made the case for all parties to get behind a rapid scale-up of renewable energy, while we comprehensively decarbonize the current energy system and build towards a system free of all unabated fossil fuels.”
He said many of the indicators were in the wrong direction. “Temperature records continue to be broken, with this month officially recorded as the hottest in history. We are losing biodiversity. Agricultural land is being degraded. And food insecurity is increasing.”
It is believed that if G20 is unable to agree on important climate mitigation policies and goals in India, then the member countries will not agree to them at COP28 either.
HT reported on Friday that the global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions before 2025 was one of the contentious issues at the G20 environment and climate sustainability ministers meeting in Chennai. The goal of keeping global warming under 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels also remains fuzzy.
According to those attending the meeting, Saudi Arabia was among the countries opposing having an agreement on peaking emissions in the communique or joint statement expected to be released in Chennai on Friday.
“Most of the brackets are around the issue of peaking. Naturally, that clouds the entire mitigation issue,” said an official attending the meeting.
A second official said what has already not been agreed on in Goa cannot be agreed on in Chennai. “1.5°C issue will be cushioned. There are disagreements on that. Everyone is holding their positions on emissions, climate finance, etc. We are trying to be as inclusive as possible. We are also trying other means such as making them sign on blue economy principles... which is also a climate issue with sea level rise and ocean acidification.”
The rich and emerging economies such as the US, China, and India, which are part of G20, along with the European Union have varied environmental priorities based on their status and historical contribution to emissions.
G20 ministerial meetings on clean energy, energy transition, the environment, and climate sustainability this month in Goa and Chennai were expected to set the tone for the G20’s approach ahead of COP28.
India, which assumed the forum’s presidency in December, is hosting global leaders and a series of meetings related to 32 sectors across the country this year under the aegis of G20.