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More than 100 countries sign up to new major energy pledge

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Sun, 3 Dec 2023, 4:46pm
US Vice President Kamala Harris told the UN climate talks that countries 'must make up for lost time' on climate change. Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP
US Vice President Kamala Harris told the UN climate talks that countries 'must make up for lost time' on climate change. Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

More than 100 countries sign up to new major energy pledge

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Sun, 3 Dec 2023, 4:46pm

By RNZ

Countries at UN climate talks have promised to take major strides forward in tackling global warming in a new renewable energy pledge.

More than 100 countries - including Australia - have signed a pledge promising to treble world renewable energy use by 2030, at COP28. The New Zealand government is yet to discuss the pledge at Cabinet.

The United States, South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom and a number of other European nations have backed the declaration.

Melanie Robinson from the Institute told the BBC the pledge was important to meet climate goals.

She said it is really exciting.

"This is really significant, it's the single largest step the world can take towards achieving our global climate goals.

"On the one hand it can reduce the need of countries to keep those old power plants going but it also has other benefits; cleaner air, greater availability to use technologies like EVs."

US Vice President Kamala Harris said time was running out for the world to take action.

"The urgency of this moment is clear, the clock is no longer just ticking, it is banging and we must make up for lost time. And we cannot afford to be incremental.

"We need transformative change and exponential impact," she said.

People walk past a COP28 logo ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on 28 November 28, 2023.

People walk past a COP28 logo ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on 28 November 28, 2023. Photo: JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Fifty oil and gas companies including Saudi giant Aramco also pledged to stop adding to planet-warming gases by 2050.

But that only covers emissions from production, not the burning of fossil fuels and critics said it would not meaningfully tackle climate change.

There are also no penalties for missing targets and the promises are not binding.

Leading sustainability organisation, the World Resources Institute is welcoming the decision by governments and oil companies promising to take stronger action to tackle global warming.

The new Minister for Climate Change Simon Watts was unavailable for comment.


* This story has been amended. An earlier version incorrectly suggested NZ was not signing up to the pledge, when Cabinet is yet to discuss it.

- RNZ

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