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IEA strengthens collaboration with climate leaders as more commitments take shape

IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

3rd April 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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After nearly 200 countries made major energy commitments at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is taking a leading role in ensuring these promises are transformed into action.

The agency is tracking countries’ progress towards key objectives, sharing policy advice and creating forums for leaders to exchange ideas.

As part of these efforts, the IEA is cooperating with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, focusing on tracking and reporting energy-related outcomes of the first global stocktake at COP28, building consensus on actions to deliver 1.5 ˚C-aligned energy transitions and supporting the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.

Speaking at an event called the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial, IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol recently emphasised the importance of boosting clean energy financing in emerging economies, which he said needed to be a top priority ahead of the COP29 climate summit, to be held in Azerbaijan, in November.

“The IEA continues to expand efforts to support the ‘troika’ of COP presidencies that has been formed to facilitate continuity between COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, COP29 in Azerbaijan and COP30 in Brazil,” Birol said.

Birol met last week with COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber at the IEA’s headquarters in Paris to discuss next steps after a high-level event with energy and climate leaders that the IEA hosted on implementing the COP28 outcome in February.

Birol had also discussed key milestones, as well as opportunities for cooperation, ahead of COP29 with COP29 president designate Mukhtar Babayev.

Equally, Birol discussed with Brazilian Green Economy secretary Rodrigo Rollemberg potential collaboration on issues such as energy transitions during Brazil’s G20 presidency this year and the COP presidency in 2025.

The IEA states that fossil fuels are rapidly being replaced by clean energy such as solar and wind, not just owing to government policies but also as a result of other powerful economic, industrial, strategic and technological forces. 

“It is now cheaper to build onshore wind and solar power projects than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere worldwide. The price of electric cars continues to drop and their market share keeps rising – all while innovation on low emissions technologies is moving ahead quickly,” Birol states.

He highlights other forces at work as being energy security concerns following the global energy crisis that erupted in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as an intensifying focus on industrial competitiveness, with China leading global growth on clean energy and dominating supply chains for key technologies.

These factors, coupled with climate change consequences becoming increasingly visible, are all reminders of “why we need to press ahead”, Birol says, adding that while changes in government may well affect the pace of energy transitions, accelerating them in some cases, slowing them in others, they will not alter the fundamental direction of travel.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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