Climate and Energy Summit: Co-Chairs’ Statement

Building a Grand Coalition to Keep 1.5 ºC Within Reach

Madrid, Spain – Two months before COP-28, the International Climate and Energy Summit was held in Madrid on 2 October 2023. Co-chaired by H.E. Teresa Ribera, Vice-President of the Government of Spain, and Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Summit was opened with statements from H.E. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, and H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President-Designate of COP-28.

The Summit brought together Ministers and Senior Officials from thirty-five countries across five continents and Heads of four International Organisations. The discussions included inputs from industry, civil society and youth organisations.

The present statement is provided under the responsibility of the Co-Chairs and represents their own high-level summary of the discussions that took place.

Science has issued ever stronger warnings: we are running out of time. In 2023, the world experienced the hottest July and hottest August ever, according to data from the World Meteorological Organisation. It is very likely that 2023 will be the hottest year ever recorded. This year has been marked by a devastating series of extreme weather events; no part of the world has been spared. We must move faster to tackle global warming if we want to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We have the tools to move faster. Participants expressed strong appreciation of the finding of the International Energy Agency’s recent report, Net Zero Roadmap: A Global Pathway to Keep the 1.5 °C Goal in Reach – 2023 Update, that the key actions required to bend the emissions curve sharply downwards by 2030 are well understood, cost effective and are taking place at an accelerating rate.

Three key actions provide 80% of the emissions reductions needed to put the energy sector on a pathway consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 ºC. These are: tripling the installed capacity of renewables, doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement, and reducing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations by 75% by 2030. These actions to scale up clean energy and improve energy efficiency are critical to driving down fossil fuel demand this decade while ensuring an orderly transition, minimising volatility in energy prices and providing a clear planning horizon to industry. These points provide a key benchmark for the success of COP-28.

The Sixth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly highlighted that “[net] zero CO2 energy systems entail: a substantial reduction in overall fossil fuel use”, enabled by the rapid growth of low-emissions sources of energy supply. Recent analysis from the IEA shows that, based on today’s policy settings and even without additional climate policies, demand for each of the three fossil fuels is set to peak this decade, thanks to the extraordinary growth of decarbonised energy technologies. The beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era is in sight, but it needs to be accelerated if the 1.5 ºC goal is to be met. A recognition of this from COP-28 would provide important guidance for an orderly transition.

The transition must be collaborative, inclusive and people-centred. Ensuring the scale-up of decarbonised energy investment in emerging market and developing economies must be a central focus of global collaboration and implies reform of our multilateral financial institutions. International collaboration is needed to scale up resilient, diverse, open and sustainable clean energy technology supply chains, notably for the critical minerals that are required to make many of the key technologies. Cooperation is needed more than ever before in today’s context of geopolitical fragmentation. Keeping the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C in reach requires countries around the world to come together quickly. The good news is we know what we need to do – and how to do it. But strong international cooperation is crucial to success.

For these reasons, at the Climate and Energy Summit in Madrid on 2 October 2023, the following key objectives for COP28 were put forward:

  1. Supporting the tripling of global renewable electricity generation capacity by 2030, through the implementation of policies to create strong project pipelines, sound and responsive regulatory environments, and programmes – including through international support – to lower the cost of capital for renewables projects in developing economies.

    In line with this objective, particular attention needs to be paid to the appropriate development of electricity grids to ensure the adequate integration of renewables, as well as to the promotion of worker training and the development of new skills.
  2. Aiming to double the rate of improvement in global energy intensity by 2030, through the implementation of effective policy, the creation of conditions to attract investment, and rapidly implementing robust energy efficiency and electrification policies.
  3. While ensuring the phase out of fossil fuels, including the end of new approvals of unabated coal-fired power plants, in line with the goal of net zero emissions by 2050 and safeguarding energy security and affordable prices.
  4. Recognising that scaled-up investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency will be required to achieve these goals, and that this implies innovative financing mechanisms and reforms of our multilateral financing institutions, in order to promote investment in the energy transition of developing countries.
  5. Highlighting the critical role of, and opportunity for, the fossil fuel industry and major producer economies to commit to net zero goals, to reduce emissions from their own operations, including methane emissions aiming at a reduction of methane emissions from their operations by 75% by 2030, and in increasingly investing and innovating in low-emissions solutions.