Climate chiefs urged to build on 'tornado of good news' from Cop28

UAE presidency urges world to maintain momentum shown at Dubai summit

Germany highlighted Oman's solar power expansion as an example of how countries can learn from each other in the clean power race. Reuters
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A global clean power boom must gather even further pace if the world is to build on the “tornado of good news” that emerged from Cop28, climate talks in Germany have heard.

While 2023 was a record year for clean energy, there is still a long way to go to meet a 2030 target of trebling the world's renewable firepower, new figures show.

The UAE's presidency of December's climate talks urged countries to “maintain the momentum” of the Dubai summit, which produced a series of pledges to combat global warming.

Talks in Berlin are focusing on the UAE's calls for a clean energy revolution, while separate meetings in Bonn are looking at how to make the world more resilient to extreme temperatures.

“We invite all parties to continue to show the strong spirit of collaboration and international co-operation that we saw at Cop28,” said Amer Al Kindi, a negotiator from the UAE's Cop28 presidency, at the talks in Bonn.

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is looking at ways to meet the Cop28 goal of trebling renewable energy capacity.

New figures show a record 473 gigawatts of renewables were installed in 2023, driven by a boom in solar power. In all, 87 per cent of new energy systems were renewable.

However, there is still some way to go because the 2030 target implies a rate of 1,000 gigawatts a year, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in Abu Dhabi for the talks in Berlin.

In addition, reasonable global figures hide the fact that renewable growth is concentrated in China, the US and Europe and more than 500 million people in Africa have no electricity at all, it said.

“The vast majority of developing countries have been left out of the transition, despite their considerable energy requirements and abundant renewable potentials,” said Irena director general Francesco La Camera.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged nations to “learn from one another” in turning to clean energy.

She highlighted Oman's plans to expand solar power as an example.

“Oman is implementing several mega solar projects to provide electricity for tens of thousands of households,” she said.

With an “absolute explosion in investment” needed, countries should treat wind and solar power as ways of ensuring energy security in volatile times, Ms Baerbock said.

She described the outcomes of Cop28 as “a kind of tornado of good news last December coming from Dubai”.

“Because successful breakthroughs are so rare, from my point of view it was kind of a wonder that last December, 196 states made a quantum leap,” she said.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the compromise Cop28 deal had “set the pace that we will have to meet in the coming years”.

“By working together at international level, with every country contributing its strengths, experience and know-how, it will be possible to successfully implement these targets by 2030,” he said.

The focus of the Bonn talks is on adaptation, meaning how the world can prepare for higher temperatures that are already inevitable to some extent.

Efforts gathered pace at Cop28 to draw up global targets for adaptation that are expected to focus on water, agriculture, health, biodiversity, infrastructure, livelihoods and cultural heritage.

Further talks on adaptation finance are pencilled in for Cop29, in Azerbaijan in November.

Updated: March 19, 2024, 3:43 PM