xi's moments
Home | Middle East

Landmark initiatives for just, orderly transition

By JAN YUMUL in Dubai, UAE | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-04 09:36

Participants walk past banners at the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai on Sunday. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP

Landmark initiatives that would accelerate the decarbonization of heavy industry and ensure a just, equitable and orderly energy transition have been unveiled at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai.

COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber called the global decarbonization accelerator, or GDA, a "holistic approach, comprehensive plan for a system-wide change", that would help address the demand and supply of energy at the same time.

"Greening electricity" tackles only 30 percent of the challenges the world faces, he said, and even though it is a step in the right direction there needs to be more solutions for heavy emitting industries. That is why the plan would also include the industrial transition accelerator, or ITA, he said.

The initiative will focus on faster adoption of zero-carbon energies such as hydrogen and will push for smart policies to commercialize and scale the hydrogen value chain. And while hydrogen has made progress, one "has to consider, think and reflect" what it would really take "for the hydrogen industry to take off".

"Let's define the market and let's develop one standard for the market so we can see much more capital flow into advancing the scaling up of technology and commercialization of hydrogen industry," said Al Jaber, who is also UAE special envoy for climate change, and minister of industry and advanced technology.

"We're not there yet. The oil and gas industry must align around our north star of keeping 1.5 C within reach, and that is exactly the rationale and thinking behind the oil and gas decarbonization charter that we are announcing today."

Al Jaber also urged partners to sign the global pledge to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030. One hundred and seventeen countries have endorsed the pledge, he said.

Under the GDA, 50 companies, representing more than 40 percent of global oil production, have signed the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter committing to zero methane emissions and ending routine flaring by 2030, and to total net-zero operations by 2050 at the latest.

Al Jaber said 19 of them are adopting a net zero 2050 target for the first time. Thirty-one have also committed to net zero methane emissions by 2030 for the first time.

In a panel discussion with the theme "Industrial transition accelerator: Driving decarbonization of heavy industry, energy and transport at scale", experts shed light on the challenges facing heavy industry.

'Building momentum'

Michael Bloomberg, the UN secretary-general's special envoy on climate ambition and solutions and head of Bloomberg Philanthropies, said the global switch to clean energy "is speeding up and building momentum" but that it is not happening fast enough. Most of the progress, he said, has been in electricity and transportation, but not in industry.

"The challenge is how do we cut emissions while still growing the industries that fight poverty and promote prosperity?" said Bloomberg as he unveiled the ITA and its partnerships.

Its goal is to drive more capital to technology that can help decarbonize heavy industry, including promising new energy sources such as green hydrogen. Bloomberg said it will help companies develop plans to cut carbon emissions and help develop policies that support and provide incentives for those cuts.

Mark Carney, the UN special envoy on climate action and finance, said the challenges in decarbonizing heavy industry are numerous because it is both carbon-intensive and hard to electrify.

Given the interconnection, slow progress in one sector slows progress in all sectors. As a consequence of this, many companies know these heavy-emitting sectors are caught in "transition traps", Carney said.

"The ITA is not about new net zero pledges. It is about unlocking investment to deliver decarbonization solutions across steel, aluminum, cement, chemical shipping and aviation."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349