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COP28 chief, groups, urge tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030

The presidency of next month’s COP28 climate summit and two renewable energy organisations on Monday urged governments to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 as part of efforts to stop global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Countries hope to strike a deal on the increase in capacity at the latest round of global climate negotiations set to get under way in Dubai in late November, which will focus on the gaps in the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement that established the 1.5°C ceiling.

Renewable energy capacity needs “to reach more than 11,000 GW” by 2030, the United Arab Emirates’ COP28 presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Renewables Alliance said in a joint report.

Most major economies are already on board with that goal. Group of 20 nations, among them China, the United States and India, agreed in September to pursue efforts to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Without rapid action to cut CO2 emissions, scientists say Earth will cross the 1.5°C threshold in the coming decade, unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.

However, striking a deal among the nearly 200 countries that attend COP28 meetings will not be easy.

European nations and climate-vulnerable states argue that it is not enough to agree to scale up clean energy, if countries do not also agree to quit the polluting energy that is causing climate change.

They say a renewable energy deal at COP28 must be paired with a commitment to phase out CO2-emitting fossil fuels – a pledge that has faced resistance from Saudi Arabia, Russia and other fossil fuel-reliant economies.

“You cannot just have the renewables goal and then call the COP a success,” European Union climate policy chief Wopke Hoekstra told an event in Brussels on Friday.

Guiding the COP28 talks will be the UAE’s Sultan al-Jaber, a choice that has drawn criticism from some U.S. and EU lawmakers as well as campaigners as he is the boss of state oil giant ADNOC, and the UAE’s climate envoy.

The report also called for doubling energy efficiency, urging targets with specific time frames, strong regulatory frameworks, financial incentives and awareness campaigns.

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