Leaders Pledge Clean Energy Action at IEA-COP26
Net Zero Summit Ahead of COP26
The Net Zero Summit, co-hosted by IEA Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol and COP26 President Alok Sharma on 31 March 2021, marked a critical milestone on the road to COP26 in Glasgow this November. Bringing together representatives from 40 countries that produce more than 80% of global GDP, population, and emissions, the summit afforded decision-makers the opportunity to share their perspectives and to emphasize the necessity of international collaboration and policy implementation to accelerate clean energy transitions.
Speakers included high-level officials of energy and climate ministries from Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and many others, while representatives of civil society, private companies, and financial institutions also took part in the discussions. Key participants included Zhang Jianhua, China’s Minister of Energy; Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission;
Raj Kumar Singh, India’s Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy; John Kerry, U.S. Presidential Special Envoy for Climate; Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy; and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
Dr. Fatih Birol: “The magic
word is innovation.”
“If we consider all the countries that have announced commitments, they represent nearly 70% of global emissions, a big number. This is promising news for the world and signals that we may well be on track to meet the 1.5 oC target. No country can reach this target alone. What is needed is international collaboration. We have to make the most out of existing technologies and bring new, advanced clean-energy technologies to market.
The magic word is innovation. We need carbon capture, batteries, and hydrogen in all sectors. This is a huge challenge and can only be achieved with global collaboration and cooperation. May 18 will be an important day for the climate agenda this year, as we will release the World’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050,” said IEA Executive Director, Dr. Fatih Birol in his opening remarks.
Dr. Birol went on to enunciate a key outcome of the summit : "As part of today’s summit, we at the International Energy Agency developed seven key principles that provide a framework for countries to work together and translate their ambitious targets into real emission reductions by advancing credible energy policies.
Numerous governments around the world support these principles, and I expect more countries to adopt them in the future."
“It is time for the world to move on from a decade of climate change deliberation to a decade of delivery. The UK strongly encourages countries to endorse the IEA’s seven principles for achieving net-zero. Today's summit clearly showed willingness from governments, civil society, and businesses to work together in each emitting sector to make this happen and keep the 1.5 oC target within reach,” said Alok Sharma, the COP26 President.