Governments launched new initiatives on Saturday to bolster clean energy and to wean themselves off fossil fuels at the U.N. climate summit in Dubai, where countries are grappling with how to halt the non-stop rise in planet-warming emissions.
Speaking at the “Fast-tracking the Just, Equitable & Orderly Energy Transition” session, COP28 President Sultan Al-Jaber said 117 countries had joined the pledge to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030. The figure was later updated to 118. Al-Jaber also used his speech to urge the oil and gas industry to align around the 1.5C temperature goal.
Welcoming such widespread endorsement, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris called for nations to stop building “new, unabated coal power plants”.
In her address, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU will invest 2.3 billion euros to help countries make the transition towards renewable energy.
Taking to the podium towards the end of the session, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Terrance Drew called for nations to mitigate the damage that climate change has brought to islands in the Atlantic.
“We did not create the problem, however, we are suffering tremendously,” he said.