The COP26 is well underway in Glasgow. Last week at the Scottish Event Campus, the Energy Day was held on which international agreements were reached on coal and just transition principles.
Yesterday was half-time on the two-week push to move the world towards the 1.5C ambition of the Paris Agreement, with negotiations carrying on this morning with Adaptation, Loss and Damage on the agenda.
From finance to nature and touching on clean energy and innovation in between, the first week of the COP26 has set the stage to truly transform the global economy in a bid to combat the climate crisis. Last Thursday, marked the second day of the regular presidency programme in Scotland, where the World Leaders spoke about Accelerating the global transition to clean energy. We have written about the top stories about the Energy Day below.
190+ Parties Support Phasing-Out Global Coal
Delivering a global coal phase-out of the scale and pace needed to keep 1.5C within reach has been indicated as a key goal of the UK as COP26 host.
Last week, more than 190 parties, including China, Poland, other major coal users have signed up to new measures to end new coal domestically and internationally, while also working to phase-out existing coal and to back workers throughout this process.
Powering Past Coal Alliance Grows
A total of 27 new members have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), bringing total membership to 164 nations, cities, and regions. Noteworthy new members include Europe’s third-largest coal fleet in Ukraine, which is targeting a phase-out by 2035 and Chile, who are targeting to bring forward an existing 2040 deadline.
Financial institutions have also united with the PCCA, such as NatWest, HSBC and Lloyds Bank. The International Energy Agency has stated that reaching global net-zero by 2050 will require all countries and businesses to stop construction of new coal-fired power plants and phase-out existing plants completely by 2030 in the OECD, and by 2040 in the rest of the world.
International Just Transition Declaration Signed
The UK Government marked COP26’s Energy Day by introducing a new International Just Transition Declaration, committing nations and organisations to guaranteeing that the move away from coal and high-carbon industries creates new green jobs and opportunities for society, especially in emerging economies, with 12 nations across the Globe already having signed up to the declaration.
12 nations have signed the Declaration to date, including the UK and EU Commission. This news comes after the UK signed an International Just Transition Partnership with South Africa. The Partnership will assemble an initial commitment of $8.5bn, giving South Africa the financial support from wealthier nations to deliver its coal phase-out and to improve climate adaptation.
Energy Efficiency in The Spotlight
Not all the news last Thursday was about shifting from polluting energy to clean energy, in fact energy efficiency also got a major mention on the agenda.
The UK Government and the International Energy Agency announced a COP26 Product Efficiency Call to Action. It is aiming to double the energy efficiency of air conditioning, refrigeration, industrial motor systems and lighting by 2030. These four activities account for more than 40% of global electricity demand every year. In total, 14 countries have now signed onto the initiative, making it the largest of its kind.
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