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Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi (centre), Director-General of COP28; Francesco La Camera (left), Director-General of IRENA; and Bruce Douglas (right), CEO of Global Renewables Alliance, during the 'Pre-COP' press conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Monday Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UN Climate Summit COP 28 to be hosted by the UAE will seek a global pledge for tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency by 2030 to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The COP28 Presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA) on Monday launched a joint report on the sidelines of the Pre-COP event in Abu Dhabi, titled “Tripling Renewable Power and Doubling Energy Efficiency by 2030: Crucial Steps Towards 1.5°C”.

The report provides actionable policy recommendations for governments and the private sector on how to increase global renewable energy capacity to at least 11,000 GW while also doubling annual average energy efficiency improvements in the target period. This falls under the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda objective of fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition to keep 1.5°C within reach as per the Paris Agreement.

The report was launched on the sidelines of Pre-COP, a meeting held in Abu Dhabi a month ahead of COP28 for countries to lay the groundwork for negotiations at the global climate summit. The report aims to help guide parties on the key enablers required to meet the energy targets.

Pre-COP reports play a significant role in shaping the priorities and commitments of nations during the actual COP conferences. Through the joint report, the UAE’s COP 28 Presidency is seeking to secure a global pledge by the parties to commit to the goals specified in the report.

Concerted action

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, said in the report: “Tripling the deployment of renewable power generation and doubling energy efficiency are amongst the most important levers to cut greenhouse gas emissions. I am now calling on everyone to come together, commit to common targets, and take comprehensive domestic and international action, as outlined in this report, to make our ambitions a reality.”

IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said: “Our mission is as clear as it is urgent: We need concerted action to triple renewable power capacity by 2030. This includes urgently addressing deeply entrenched systemic barriers across infrastructure, policy and institutional capacities stemming from the fossil-fuel era.”

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Francesco La Camera Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook, which provides the analytical foundation of this report, warns that the energy transition is dangerously off-track, demanding immediate, radical collective action, he pointed out.

“This report outlines actions governments must prioritise to fast-track the global energy transition and keep 1.5°C alive.”

To achieve the proposed target, he said countries need to install approximately 1000 GW between now and 2030.

“This means that renewable will be 70 per cent of the power capacity of the power market. And this means the share of renewables in the entire system will jump more than 40 per cent.”

Impactful commitment

Bruce Douglas, Global Renewables Alliance CEO, said that also corresponds to an installed absolute renewable capacity of 11,000 gigawatts by 2030.

“The target may seem daunting, but it is entirely within our range,” he said.

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Bruce Douglas Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

To put that into perspective, he said the goal represents the equivalent of installing and connecting three gigawatts of renewable capacity per day every day from now until 2030.

“That’s 3000 megawatts of renewables. Achieving that target is not just desirable, it’s absolutely achievable, provided can take urgent action on several fronts.”

Parties can either look to achieve the absolute installed capacity or the annual additions of around 300GW that are required, on average between now and 2030.


Pointing out that financing is one of the essential pillars of scaling up renewable power, he said: “We must make low-cost capital available for renewable energy investments, especially in emerging markets. The annual average investment in power generation from today to 2030 would need to reach $1.3 trillion compared to $486 billion in 2022. total cumulative investments between now and 2030 need to reach 10 trillion for renewable power generation and over $5 trillion for credit investment.”

He said tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency is the most impactful commitment policymakers can make to combating climate change. These steps will deliver cleaner electricity systems, open up access to affordable energy and deliver clean green jobs for millions of people.”

“The rapid upscaling of renewable energy will require policymakers to work hand-in-hand with industry and civil society to urgently implement the enabling actions in this report - infrastructure and system operation; policy and regulation; and supply chains, skills, and capacities. Critically, these areas must be reinforced by low-cost financing and international collaboration. Working together to secure a liveable future for all.”

Speaking to Gulf News about the UAE’s commitment, he said: The Presidency of the COP 28 is a perfect example of what we see now in terms of a progressive discussion about the energy transition. It is one of the first times we’ve seen a COP Presidency proactively advocating for strong scale up of renewables as a solution. We also see the UAE investing globally in renewable energy as one of the largest investors and companies such as Masdar are among the world leaders in renewable energy development.”

The collaboration between the COP28 Presidency, IRENA, and the GRA reflects the growing global consensus on achieving these targets. Ahead of COP28, the Presidency and the European Commission are calling for countries to support the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, with champion countries already committed to supporting these global targets.

Ambitious climate action

Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, director general of COP 28, said discussions on the first day of Pre COP “clearly underscored that ambitious climate action must run hand in hand with the achievement of broader sustainable development objectives, including the need for just and orderly energy transition, scaling finance that is fit for purpose to support adaptation and mitigation action, and building resilience to address growing impacts.”

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Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

“Our team is dedicated to ensuring a successful and ambitious COP28. Today’s high participation, with 70 ministers and 100 delegations, is unprecedented and reflects the commitment to addressing climate change. COP28 is distinct due to its global structure and the urgency to meet the 1.5degree Celsius goal set by the Paris Agreement. We are focused on fast-tracking the energy transition, addressing finance for developing nations, and ensuring equitable actions. Additionally, adaptation and inclusivity are key priorities in our approach. COP28 is laser-focused on delivering positive outcomes, and we are determined to meet our mandate,” he added.

Key enablers

The joint report, which draws extensively on the analysis presented in IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023: 1.5°C pathway, divides the key enablers into five sections, covering:

- Infrastructure and system operation: power grids, energy storage, end-use electrification, sector coupling and infrastructure planning, demand-side management.

- Policy and regulation: improving energy efficiency, market incentives and fiscal policy, power market design and regulation, streamlining permitting, reducing negative impacts, maximising social and environmental benefits.