G20 to accelerate coal power reduction; aims to triple renewable energy capacity, ET EnergyWorld

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<p>G20 Summit</p>
G20 Summit

New Delhi: G20 countries on Saturday said they will expedite efforts to phase down unabated coal power in line with national circumstances but did not commit to a phase-out of all polluting fossil fuels, including oil and gas.

The bloc, responsible for 85 per cent of the world’s GDP and 80 per cent of emissions, however, said it will pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 and uphold their 2009 promise made in Pittsburgh to eliminate and rationalise inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

According to a key technical report on the first-ever Global Stocktake published on Friday, scaling up renewable energy and phasing out unabated fossil fuels are indispensable elements of just energy transitions to net-zero emissions.

In the leaders’ declaration released at the G20 Summit here, the bloc noted the findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) that global greenhouse gas emissions should reach their highest point, or “peak”, somewhere between 2020 and no later than 2025 to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

However, they said it doesn’t mean that every individual country must reach its emissions peak within this timeframe.

“Timeframes for peaking may be shaped by sustainable development, poverty eradication needs, equity, and in line with different national circumstances,” the declaration read.

The group, which includes some of the world’s wealthiest economies, also took note of the ‘Voluntary Action Plan on Doubling the Rate of Energy Efficiency Improvement by 2030’.

They recognised that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global GHG emissions of 43 percent by 2030 relative to the 2019 levels.

However, they “noted with concern” that the global ambition to combat climate change and achieve the temperature objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement remain insufficient.

The G20 said that developing countries will need USD 5.9 trillion in the pre-2030 period to implement their national climate plans effectively, with the aim of holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, developing countries will require approximately USD 4 trillion annually for clean energy technologies by 2030, the bloc said.

They called for a substantial scaling up of investment and climate finance, transitioning from billions to trillions of dollars from all sources.

The G20 also urged developed countries to fulfil their commitment to double their collective adaptation finance provision by 2025, compared to 2019 levels.

The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, adopted on Saturday, emphasised the necessity of aligning financial flows with climate objectives while expanding finance, capacity-building, and technology transfer, with a focus on the priorities and needs of developing countries.

The developed countries in the bloc reaffirmed their commitment, dating back to 2009, to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020, continuing through 2025. Developed country contributors anticipate achieving this goal for the first time in 2023.

The G20 also called for ambitious, transparent, and trackable New Collective Quantified Goals (NCQG) of climate finance in 2024, from a floor of USD 100 billion a year.

They said this should consider the needs and priorities of developing countries in alignment with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Paris Agreement objectives.

The grouping of major economies acknowledged the importance of hastening the development, deployment, and dissemination of technologies to transition to low-emission energy systems, particularly by rapidly expanding the deployment of clean power generation.

“We will increase our efforts to implement the commitment made in 2009 in Pittsburgh to phase-out and rationalise, over the medium term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and commit to achieve this objective, while providing targeted support for the poorest and the most vulnerable,” the G20 Declaration read.

It further stated, “We recognise the importance to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation, including renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards phase down of unabated coal power, in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards just transitions.”

Swati D’Souza, Lead Analyst & Coordinator, India, International Energy Agency, said: “From an energy and climate perspective, the Indian G20 presidency had an ambitious agenda focused on new and emerging clean energy technologies and finance. But as it happens, this agenda got repurposed. The only highlight right now is the clear and concise language with respect to tripling RE. This provides a platform for further clarification between now and COP (target, baseline, year etc). Moreover, if this gets into COP summaries, it becomes another hook for countries to expand their NDC ambitions on.”

On the reference to made to Pittsburgh commitment on phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, she said it is important to note that the Pittsburg conversation was not one between energy ministers.

“It is surprising but encouraging to see statements from the Bali declaration on unabated coal finding mentioned here as well. This despite the fact that India did not discuss coal phaseout/phasedown through the discussions maintaining its stance on fossil fuels. This suggests that the Indian presidency had to keep its personal ambitions aside and focus on its role as a consensus builder in order to ensure that we don’t backslide from the previous G20,” the energy expert said.

D’Souza said the inclusion of the statement on tripling renewable energy is the biggest win in the final declaration. The language is simple and clear and while it also includes ‘other zero and low-emission technologies’.

  • Published On Sep 9, 2023 at 09:26 PM IST

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