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IEA calls for energy investment aligned with COP28 agreement

COP28 echoed IEA's previous calls for tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling of energy efficiency by 2030

IEA calls for energy investment aligned with COP28 agreement
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol has urged governments, companies, and investors to align their investments with the COP28 agreement to move away from fossil fuels and accelerate this decade’s clean energy transition.

“After COP28, governments, companies, and investors need to tell the people around the world what actions they are taking to move the world away from fossil fuels,” Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an interview with Reuters.

The COP28 agreement, finalized earlier this week in Dubai, represents a global commitment to phasing out fossil fuels and combating climate change. This shift aligns with the IEA’s long-held recommendations, including tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.

Countries are increasingly “making a clear link between the high use of fossil fuels and the extreme weather events,” Birol said.

However, the agreement did not address financing this clean energy transition in developing countries, Birol highlighted. The IEA chief said this would be the “main challenge” for Baku, COP29, referring to next year’s summit in Azerbaijan.

The IEA’s revised oil demand forecast for next year points to continued near-term reliance on fossil fuels; Birol emphasizes the long-term trend toward a peak in demand by 2030. The rise of electric vehicles and the global shift to low-carbon energy drive this transition, leaving some parts of the energy industry lagging.

The IEA declared last month that relying extensively on carbon capture and storage to combat climate change was an unrealistic “illusion,” garnering pushback from oil producers, including OPEC, who accused the IEA of “vilifying” the oil and gas industry.

“Some companies, some oil-producing governments say that ‘we do want to reach the climate targets, but we want at the same time to continue to produce fossil fuels with our current business as usual plans, and we will fix the gap by using carbon capture and storage.’ This is impossible,” Birol said.

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