11 Sep 2023, 13:49
Julian Wettengel

Lack of G20 agreement means fossil fuel exit "left open for COP28 to answer" – German envoy

Clean Energy Wire

Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) influential economies have agreed on the aim to triple of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, but stopped short of calling for an end to fossil fuels at this year's annual meeting in India. The New Delhi summit's outcome meant that a commitment to phase out fossil fuels is "left open for COP28 to answer," said Germany's special envoy for international climate action Jennifer Morgan, referring to the UN climate change conference taking place in the United Arab Emirates in December. "The IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] made clear that a substantial scale-down of fossil fuel use is key to halving emissions by 2030," wrote the state secretary on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. On the other hand, Morgan said the G20 decision on renewables was important groundwork for COP. Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the summit’s decisions on climate and said that he was "very happy that we have not back-tracked in this respect, but remain ambitious." He also said that it was "an important success" to keep the issue of climate change high on the G20 agenda.

NGO Germanwatch saw mixed results from the summit. Policy head Christoph Bals called the renewables agreement "a real ray of hope, even if we would have liked to see an ambitious and concrete annual expansion target." Bals said the dispute about a necessary fossil fuel exit would continue over the coming months and only COP28 would show "whether the Paris climate targets could come within reach."

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