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COP28: majority of world countries commit to tripling green energy capacity | COP28: climate summit in Dubai

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec2,2023

COP28: the majority of countries in the world commit to triple the capacity of green energies | COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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More than a hundred countries participating in the COP commit to tripling the capacities of energy sources green, like wind energy. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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Against coal and methane, and for nuclear power and renewables. The countries meeting at COP28 in Dubai are putting the spotlight on the energy world of tomorrow on Saturday, alongside laborious negotiations on the means to achieve a world without fossil fuels within a few decades.

This is the objective that is on the rise: more than the majority of nations, at least 118, want to triple renewable energy capacities (solar, wind, hydroelectricity, biomass, etc.) and double energy efficiency by 2030.

The announcement, prepared for months and already supported by the G20 countries, is a very strong message to the markets, he told AFP on site the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Will this commitment, non-binding at this stage, end in a decision of the COP, which would be binding on all signatories to the Paris agreement? For the moment, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia are missing.

At the same time, thousands of negotiators from nearly 200 countries are holding meetings in dozens of rooms or in the open-air cafes of Expo City 2020, the immense site which hosts the Expo. event since November 30, a few kilometers from the gleaming skyscrapers of Dubai.

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COP28 is being held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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The most prominent of these delegates are those trying to move forward on the overarching issue: the draft final agreement which must be adopted by consensus by December 12.

A first version was debated until late Friday evening, immediately marked, according to one participant, by a standoff over the exit or reduction of fossil fuels: oil, gas and coal.

Everyone remained on their traditional positions, said this source, with Saudi Arabia pleading for the massive deployment of carbon capture techniques while the European Union defended the exit from fossils.

On Saturday, 50 oil and gas companies, representing 40% of global production, committed to decarbonizing their production operations by 2050, the UAE presidency of COP28, led by the company's boss, announced on Saturday as a victory National Adnoc.

But the commitment does not cover emissions from the combustion of oil and gas by their customers, which is the majority. And it did not attract any positive comments from NGOs.

For Andreas Sieber, of the NGO, this initiative diverts attention to the need to significantly reduce the production as well as the consumption of fossil fuels this decade.

The small island countries, at the forefront of the fight against hydrocarbons, were joined on Saturday by Colombia, the first continental country to demand a treaty with them on the non-proliferation of fossil fuels.

After carbon dioxide (CO2), methane is the second greenhouse gas contributing the most to global warming, accounting for 30%. This is the natural gas that escapes from gas pipelines, coal mines and our gas cookers, but also from the stomachs of cows or from the decomposition of straw in rice fields.

After years of inaction, states and companies are starting to adopt reduction plans, often by 2030.

To lower the temperature, we simply have to lower the methane, launched Saturday the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, influential in the COPs despite the small size of his country.

The new thing is that China and the United States are finally collaborating on the subject.

Reducing methane is regularly described as relatively easy and immediately very effective against warming. For companies, it would be enough to put an end to gas flaring. A commitment which is part of the charter signed on Saturday by the 50 oil and gas companies.

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Around twenty countries called on Saturday to triple the world's nuclear energy capacities by 2050.

Saturday was launched by a call from around twenty countries to triple nuclear energy capacities in the world by 2050 compared to 2020.

The announcement illustrates the spectacular renewed interest in the atom, an almost carbon-free source of electricity, but which has suffered after the Fukushima accident in 2011.

No credible strategy, neither nationally nor globally, allows us to move away from coal and fossils by relying solely on renewables.

A quote from Emmanuel Macron, French president

In addition to the United States and Canada, the twenty signatories include pro-nuclear European countries, according to a list published by the United States, as well as South Korea, Ghana, the Emirates which have built their first reactors, and Japan, which is relaunching its power stations.

But China and Russia, the leading manufacturers in the world, but rivals of the West, have not signed.

Here again, the appeal is in no way binding within the framework of the UN, but serves to give signals of cooperation and to establish balance of power in negotiations.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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