Australia backs global renewable energy boost


Governments of 118 countries have pledged to triple renewable energy generation capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030 as part of a push to cut the share of fossil fuels in the world’s energy production.

The signatories agreed to triple worldwide installed renewable energy generation capacity from the current installed capacity of about 3,400 GW to at least 11,000 GW by the end of the decade and to double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements from around 2% to more than 4% every year until 2030. The Global Decarbonization Accelerator (GDA) initiative also calls for “the phase down of unabated coal power” and an end to the financing of new coal-fired power plants.

“This can and will help transition the world away from unabated coal,” said Sultan al-Jaber, the United Arab Emirates’ COP28 summit president.

The International Energy Agency has estimated that tripling of renewable energy generation capacity has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about one billion tonnes every year.

Australian Energy Minister Chris Bowen said other major energy exporting countries including the United States, Canada and Norway have also committed to initiative, adding that “for emissions to go down around the world, a big international push is needed.”

“We know that renewables are the cleanest and cheapest form of energy, and that energy efficiency can also help drive down bills and emissions,” he said.

The pledge follows on from last month’s commitment by the Australian government to fast-track the federally supported expansion of domestic renewable energy capacity to 32 GW.

“Australia has the resources and the smarts to help supply the world with clean energy technologies to drive down those emissions while spurring new Australian industry,” Bowen said.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific head Shiva Gounden agreed Australia is well positioned to reap the economic benefits of the green energy transformation but warned without concurrent action to phase out coal and gas, this latest commitment is just dealing with one side of the equation.

“The Australian government continues to drag its heels on fossil fuels,” he said, noting that new data compiled by Greenpeace shows that if all the coal and gas projects currently undergoing federal approvals went ahead they would release a 22 billion tonne emissions bomb, severely undermining global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

“The science is crystal clear that to keep 1.5 degrees alive, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground,” Gounden said.

Bowen and Assistant Minister Jenny McAllister are set to land in Dubai this week to attend the COP28 summit.

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