The European Commission and the United Arab Emirates’ presidency of this year’s COP28 climate summit pledged on Wednesday to seek support for global goals to expand renewable energy, which they said would help countries to shift from unabated fossil fuels.
The two sides will work to “ensure maximum support on global 2030 targets for the tripling of renewable energy and doubling of energy efficiency,” a statement agreed after a meeting of officials in Brussels said.
“These targets would support the transition towards energy systems free of unabated fossil fuels.”
Unabated fossil fuels are those that do not use technology to capture the CO2 emissions produced from burning them.
The EU and COP28 hosts UAE will also work together on establishing a fund to address irreparable damage climate change is causing in vulnerable countries, they said. Countries agreed last year to launch that fund, but have yet to negotiate how it will work and where the money will come from.
At last year’s COP27 UN climate summit, countries failed to agree a deal on phasing down the fossil fuel consumption that causes climate change.
A proposal by India to do so won support from more than 80 governments, but Saudi Arabia and other oil– and gas-rich countries opposed it.
Some countries, including members of the European Union, hope to revive the proposal ahead of this year’s UN climate summit, which begins on Nov. 30 in Dubai.
But countries have already clashed over wording.
The UAE’s incoming COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber – who is also the head of the country’s national oil company – last month urged countries to focus on “phasing out fossil fuel emissions”.
That could allow countries to keep using fossil fuels, while using technology to capture their emissions.
Other nations want a clear commitment to gradually stop using oil, gas and coal.
“We must bring the fossil fuel era to an end and phase out fossil fuels,” the Netherlands, Chile, New Zealand and climate-vulnerable island states, including the Marshall Islands, said in a joint letter last month.