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Executive Director and COP26 President review global climate diplomacy in bilateral meeting

4 March 2021

The IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, and the President of COP26, Alok Sharma, met in Paris on 3 March to discuss priorities for accelerating clean energy transitions worldwide in the lead-up to COP26 in Glasgow in November.

At the bilateral meeting, Dr Birol and Mr Sharma, assessed the current state of global climate diplomacy and considered how the IEA and the COP26 Presidency can work together to help countries develop ambitious long-term CO2 reduction targets while also immediately implementing real-world actions to cut their emissions.

They discussed the importance of IEA data and analysis in informing the global energy and climate conversation. This included the latest update on energy-related CO2 emissions trends, which was released on 2 March and showed a strong rebound in global emissions over the course of 2020 following the pandemic-induced slump in April. They agreed that the comprehensive global roadmap for reaching net-zero emissions in 2050 that the IEA will release on 18 May can help build momentum towards COP26.

Dr Birol and Mr Sharma, who was on a two-day visit to Paris for meetings, reviewed progress on preparations for the IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit on 31 March that they will co-host. The Summit is a key multilateral milestone on the road to COP26 in Glasgow. It will bring together heads of government, ministers, CEOs and civil society leaders from all corners of the globe to focus on how to move from climate targets to real-world energy policy actions that can rapidly bring down emissions.