Cooperation between major economies can help drive climate policies and clean energy transitions around the world, concluded a high-level event held today at the UN climate conference (COP23).
At the event held in the margins of the high-level segment of COP23, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete launched new EU strategic partnerships for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, a programme co-financed by the EU's Partnership Instrument (€20 million) and the German International Climate Initiative (€5 million) to scale up European climate policy collaborations with other major economies.
Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "The EU is on track to meet and exceed our 2020 emissions reduction target and has taken a head-start in putting in place policy instruments to fulfill our 2030 climate and energy objectives. At the same time, we need to work more with other major economies to move faster, higher and stronger together. Industry and investors in Europe and globally need us to make steady and consistent progress on the policy front. This is why we are launching this new programme today – to better respond to our international partners who seek policy collaborations with us."
Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol presented the IEA's latest World Energy Outlook and introduced the IEA's Clean Energy Transitions Programme, with a budget of €30 million, including €3.5 million of support from the EU.
He said: “COP23 is an important opportunity to highlight the vital and growing role of multilateral cooperation in driving energy transitions in economies around the world, including through support for clean energy technology innovation, sharing good policy practices, and building knowledge and capacity. The IEA looks forward to playing an even stronger role with the launch of our new Clean Energy Transitions Programme to strengthen IEA's collaboration with major emerging economies."
Major economies are increasingly cooperating towards multilaterally agreed objectives through various fora, including the G20, the Ministerial on Climate Action co-convened by the EU, Canada and China, and the Clean Energy Ministerial, whose next session will be hosted by the EU and Nordic States in Malmö and Copenhagen in May 2018.
At today's event, German State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth and Argentine Environment Minister Sergio Bergman presented progress achieved under the German Presidency of the G20 this year and how climate and energy issues will be taken forward next year by the incoming Argentine Presidency of the G20.
Climate change requires a decisive and confident response from all major economies, as they represent a large share of global population, economic output and greenhouse gas emissions.
Analysis from the International Energy Agency and the 2017 Emissions Gap Report from UN Environment show that global CO2 emissions from energy have remained stable since 2014, thanks in large part to renewable energy development in China and India, raising hope that CO2 emissions may have peaked already.
Still, major economies can and should do more: the Emissions Gap Report also finds that most G20 countries require new policies and actions to achieve or exceed the pledges included in their nationally determined contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, that the level of ambition embedded in these NDCs varies considerably, and that a further 11–13.5 GtCO2-eq of emission reductions would be needed beyond NDCs globally to stay on a least-cost path to meeting the 2°C target.