Climate talks see push for deadline on ending ‘fossil fuel age’

Germany called for governments around the world to work on setting an ambitious target for renewable energy that would “ring in the end of the fossil fuel age” and help prevent dangerous global warming.

Speaking at the start of a two-day meeting in Berlin attended by dozens of top climate envoys, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock noted on Tuesday the world needs to sharply cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).“But we also know that not all countries are prepared to do so,” she said. “That is why I want to open the debate … on whether we should and can reach a target on renewables at the next climate conference.”

Baerbock’s proposal flips the script on a previous push to set a deadline for phasing out all fossil fuels, which faced stiff resistance from major oil and gas exporting nations. They instead have backed the idea of capturing planet-warming emissions as a way to reduce greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

Experts have said such technologies, known as carbon capture and storage, are not proven at scale and could require huge investments at the expense of cheaper alternatives, such as solar and wind power.

Triple green capacity by 2030
Sultan al-Jaber, a former oil company executive who will preside over the COP28 climate summit from November 30 to December 12, urged nations to triple renewables capacity by 2030.“We will accelerate delivery in sectors like renewables that must triple capacity by 2030 and double it again by 2040,” al-Jaber said in a speech at the opening of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue – a meeting of climate diplomats in Berlin.

Al-Jaber’s call marked a public endorsement of a target laid out by the International Energy Agency. Last month, at a closed-door meeting with G7 leaders in Japan, he had also raised the target.

The COP28 chair also used his speech to call on developed countries to deliver a long-promised $100bn climate package for developing countries.

“Expectations are high. Trust is low. This is holding up progress, and as part of my outreach, I am requesting donor countries to provide a definitive assessment on the delivery of this commitment before COP28,” al-Jaber said.

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