Press release | Lack of international cooperation is greatest challenge of COP28, says IEA


Climate, Energy & Sustainability

Brussels, 25 October 2023 – With one month to go before COP28 in Dubai, the greatest challenge nations will face is the lack of international cooperation. The warning came from Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), at the official Brussels launch of the ‘World Energy Outlook 2023’, organised by Friends of Europe.

“Globally, there is no economic challenge, there is no technological challenge, and there is no challenge in terms of potential. The challenge is the lack of international cooperation”, remarked Birol.

“Unfortunately, COP28 comes at a time when international fragmentation is very strong. When there’s a global problem that is in the interest of everyone to solve, the thing you need the most is international collaboration.”

As COP28 approaches, Birol laid out IEA’s five conditions for the event to be considered a success. First, the capacity of renewables must triple by 2030. “Renewables are going very well in most countries but we want to see their capacity tripling”, said Birol. Second, global energy efficiency needs to double globally by 2030.

The third condition refers to oil and gas companies. “Many oil and gas companies say publicly that they would like to be part of the solution. We are very happy to hear that but now we want them to align their strategies with the Paris targets including committing themselves to reduce their methane emissions by 75% until 2030”, said Birol.

Fourth, advanced economies and international financial institutions need to develop financing mechanisms to support the clean energy transition in emerging and developing countries. “They will not be able to do it by themselves. There’s a need for support as the cost of capital in many of those countries is much higher than in advanced [countries]”.

Lastly, the IEA “would like to see governments putting into place measures for an orderly decline of fossil fuel starting with a ban on building any new coal-fired power plants.”

The ‘World Energy Outlook 2023’ is the IEA’s flagship report and the official Brussels launch has been organised by Friends of Europe for 15 years.

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Catarina Vila Nova
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Friends of Europe is an independent think tank with a difference. We connect people, stimulate debate and catalyse change to create a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-thinking Europe. We believe that a Renewed Social Contract is the only avenue towards the inclusive and fair transitions, peace and security, and social prosperity that are needed for Europe to play its part in the world and care for its citizens in the 21st century.

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