1st Int’l Day on Clean Energy comes after COP28 to phase out fossil fuel

1st Int’l Day on Clean Energy comes after COP28 to phase out fossil fuel
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

•        UN chief: Our clean energy future is unstoppable.

The world marks today the first International Day on Clean Energy on January 26 few weeks after an agreement during the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) to phase out fossil fuel.

The COP28 that concluded in December in Dubai provided a unique opportunity to take stock of the global solutions for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and to advance a positive, action-orientated energy agenda, placing accelerated energy transitions at the center of the climate discourse.

The first commemoration of this International Day happens just weeks after countries reached an unprecedented agreement at COP 28, in the context of the UAE Consensus, to transition away from fossil fuels. Among others, at COP28, countries agreed to tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

This comes as a result of the efforts of the COP28 Presidency, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Renewables Alliance to build support of a global pledge and is in line with the recommendations of IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook as the most realistic course-correction to align with Paris Agreement goals.

The International Day of Clean Energy aims to raise awareness and mobilize action for a just and inclusive transition to clean energy for the benefit of people and the planet. Clean energy plays a key role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helping communities access reliable power sources.

SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. Currently, the world is not on track to achieve SDG 7, with 675 million people still living in the dark and lacking access to reliable power sources. In April 2024, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will hold a Global Stocktaking on Sustainable Energy to assess progress and recommend solutions. 

The International Day of Clean Energy on 26 January was declared by the General Assembly (resolution A/77/327) as a call to raise awareness and mobilize action for a just and inclusive transition to clean energy for the benefit of people and the planet.

26 January is also the founding date of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a global intergovernmental agency established in 2009 to support countries in their energy transitions, serve as a platform for international cooperation, and provide data and analyses on clean energy technology, innovation, policy, finance and investment.

Guterres marks the International Clean Energy Day:

Marking the occasion, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said “Clean energy is the gift that keeps giving; it can purify polluted air; meet growing energy demand; secure supplies; and connect billion of people to affordable power – helping to ensure electricity access to all by 2030.”

“That is all while saving money and saving the planet,” he said.

“A fair, just, equitable, and urgent transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy is essential to avoid the worst of climate chaos and spur sustainable development.”

“So, I celebrate this first International Day of Clean Energy; I applaud the work of the International Renewable Energy Agency; And I welcome the call made by countries at COP28 to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030.”

“It is my firm belief that fossil fuel phase out is not only necessary, it is inevitable,” he said.

“But we need governments to act, to accelerate the transition, with the biggest emitters leading the way.”

“That means unleashing a surge in climate finance – particularly, governments reforming the business model of multilateral development banks so that affordable finance flows.”

“It means countries creating new national climate plans by 2025 that map a fair and just transition to clean power,” he said.

“And it means governments closing the door on the fossil fuel era – with justice and equity,” he said, adding “Our clean energy future is unstoppable. Together, let’s bring it into being faster.”

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