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Sunday, July 16, 2023

High Ambition Coalition calls for End to Fossil Fuels and Move Towards a Clean Energy World in leadup to COP28

While Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese lauded joining the Climate Club as Australia stepping up in climate policy ambition, the real ambition was outlined in a statement by the High Ambition Coalition last Friday, 14 July 2023, calling for Ending the Fossil Fuel Era & Move Towards a Clean Energy World.

If Australia has true climate ambition it should join the High Ambition Coalition and implement policies that reflect actual high climate ambition, not just rhetoric.

For a brief period at COP21 in Paris in 2015 Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for Australia did endorse the High Ambition Coalition 1.5C target that formed the basis of the Paris Agreement. But we didn't carry through with any  follow up climate policy commitments to justify membership of the Coalition.

The High Ambition Coalition statement on Friday outlined the need to:

  • Accelerate the global energy transition away from fossil fuels. 
  • Peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 at the latest and reduce them by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. 
  • Requires systemic transformations across all sectors, with a rapid decline of fossil fuel production and use within this decade. 
  • Abatement technologies (such as Carbon Capture and Storage - CCS) must not be used to green-light continued fossil fuel expansion, but must be considered in the context of steps to phase out fossil fuel use, and should be recognised as having a minimal role to play in decarbonization of the energy sector.
  • Restoration and protection of carbon sinks should be a top priority. 
  • Set and meet ambitious targets for renewable energy production and energy efficiency this decade,
  • Ensure the transition is equitable, and does not leave behind the millions without energy access worldwide.
  • More ambitious mitigation pledges in line with 1.5°C. Temperature target
  • Massive deployment of financing to deliver energy access for all globally, 
  • New renewable energy targets to more than triple current rates of deployment to the over 1 terawatt of new solar and wind per annum that the IEA’s analysis shows is needed for 1.5°C
  • Acceleration of efforts to cut methane emissions, 
  • Elimination or repurposing of fossil fuel subsidies to support the roll-out of renewables. 
  • Drastic adaptation efforts required worldwide. Adaptation finance will be a key part of this, 
  • Developed country parties need to at least double adaptation finance, 
  • Operationalization of loss and damage funding arrangements, and a fund for responding to loss and damage,
  • Commit to working together to alleviate the burdens faced by developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. 
  • Secure financial system reforms to increase green investment, and the alignment of financial flows with a resilient future within the 1.5°C temperature limit. 
  • The Global Stocktake must be a turning point. It must include a strong and detailed forward-looking delivery plan, with concrete recommendations that trigger countries’ domestic processes in following up with ambitious and robust action to close the ambition and implementation gaps across the spectrum of climate action in this critical decade and beyond.

The statement was signed by Representatives from the European Commission, Austria, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Ethiopia,  Federated States of Micronesia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Palau, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Senegal, Spain, and Vanuatu.

The invite to Australia to join the High Ambition Coalition is open. But so far Australia has failed to step up, except for one brief moment at COP21.

"The science is clear, and we know that the solutions are there. We invite others to join us in this effort." the statement concludes.


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