COP28 could set global renewable energy goal: Danish minister

This year’s U.N. climate talks could set the first ever global goal for renewable energy — so long as everyone is on board.

At a meeting in Copenhagen this week, ministers from 43 countries discussed the prospect of establishing the target at the COP28 conference in Dubai at the end of this year, Danish Global Climate Policy Minister Dan Jørgensen told POLITICO.

“Maybe it is possible for the first time in the COP process to have a text that actually ends up concluding specific targets for the world on renewables,” Jørgensen said.

Almost 200 countries at COP28 would need to agree the goal unanimously.

The talks are also set to feature a tussle over an agreement to phase out fossil fuels. Jørgensen said a renewable target could make that more palatable and “would be an extremely important signal to send both to countries, but also to the markets.

“Imagine what it would do for the renewable markets, that now the countries of this planet agree that we need this extreme expansion of renewables,” he said.

The head of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Francesco La Camera, told the meeting that a goal of 1 terawatt (1,000 gigawatts) of annual growth was necessary to meet the world’s climate goals.

“That just gives you a sense of the magnitude of this ambition. So that was actually a big part of the discussions for both days,” said Jørgensen.

Later on Thursday, Argus media reported that Germany’s State Secretary and Special Representative for International Climate Policy Jennifer Morgan was also pushing for such a global target for renewable energy. “We know how much to scale up, so let’s give ourselves a goal,” she told reporters.

The United Arab Emirates COP28 presidency did not respond when asked whether the global goal was being considered as part of the final conference deal.