More than a hundred countries have committed to triple renewable energy capacity worldwide by 2030 and double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements.
G20 nations, which account for nearly 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, paved the way for a deal when they endorsed the renewable energy goal in September.
While supporters are expected to push for the pledge to be included in the final outcome of the talks, there are fears that the COP28 hosts were willing to shunt the more ambitious targets into voluntary deals.
Meanwhile, more than 20 countries have called for the tripling of world nuclear energy capacity as part of efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
A declaration endorsed by nations including the United States, Ghana, Japan and several European countries states, nuclear energy plays a “key role” in reaching the goal of carbon neutrality.
The use of nuclear energy as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels is controversial as environmental groups are concerned about safety and the disposal of nuclear waste.
Addressing the summit Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that the country is joining OPEC+ in 2024, but it will tell oil producers to get ready to “reduce fossil fuels”, he warned at the COP28 climate talks on Saturday.
Brazil, one of the world’s top 10 producers, hit a record 3.7 million barrels per day in September. It was this week invited to join the 23-member group of OPEC and OPEC+ nations from January.
“I think it’s important for us to participate in OPEC+, because we need to convince the countries that produce oil that they need to prepare to reduce fossil fuels,” remarked Lula in Dubai. “And preparing means taking advantage of the money they make from oil and making investments, so that a large continent like Latin America can produce the renewable fuels they need.”
The 13-member OPEC headed by Saudi Arabia and its 10 OPEC+ partners led by Russia announced fresh production cuts on Thursday to raise prices.
US Vice President Kamala Harris told the UN’s COP28 conference that the United States will contribute $3 billion to a global climate fund – its first pledge since 2014.
“Today, we are demonstrating through action how the world can and must meet this (climate) crisis,” Harris told world leaders at the summit.
Colombia on Saturday became one of the largest fossil fuel producers to join a group of climate vulnerable island nations calling to end new development of planet-heating coal, oil and gas.
According to a statement issued by the initiative, Colombian Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said it was “frightening” that governments around the world continued to plan to expand their fossil fuel exploitation.
Scientists, as well as the International Energy Agency and the UN’s Environment Programme, have warned that significant new development of coal, oil and gas is incompatible with the international community’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial revolution levels. Calls for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty have been championed by a group of island nations, mainly in the Pacific, Caribbean and Asia.
Colombia’s announcement brings the group’s membership to 10 countries, while it also lists cities, the European Parliament and World Health Organization among its supporters. “We are not making the argument to anybody that this is absolutely going to be a sweeping alternative to every other energy source,” remarked US climate envoy John Kerry. “But we know because the science and the reality of facts and evidence tell us that you can’t get to net zero 2050 without some nuclear,” he said. The aim is to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050 from 2020 levels. The other countries that signed up to the declaration include the UK, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, South Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.