1.5C can only be kept within reach with the rapid transformation of the global electricity system from coal power to clean renewable energy. Making clean power the most affordable and reliable option for countries to meet their power needs efficiently is crucial to ensuring energy security and accelerating the clean energy transition.

At COP26 major steps were made towards consigning coal to history

One year ago at COP26, all countries came together and signalled the world is moving towards a renewable future by agreeing to phase down coal in the Glasgow Climate Pact, with 65 countries committed to phase out coal entirely. In 2021, growth of the renewable energy market was nearly 40% higher than forecast, putting wind and solar on track to match global gas capacity by 2022.

The UK’s COP26 Presidency has brought countries together to deliver tangible commitments, progress, and actions to consign coal to history, shifting international public support out of fossil fuels and into clean energy through the Clean Energy Transition Partnership, and strengthening the renewable power investment and assistance offer including spotlighting a just transition.

As part of this continuing effort, the UK joined other member countries at the G20 today in announcing the Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), a country-led initiative that will help Indonesia pursue an accelerated just energy transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources.

The JETP model was pioneered at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year, where South Africa and an International Partners Group (IPG) of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union announced a ground-breaking long-term $8.5bn JETP, setting a new precedent in the global just energy transition.

Indonesia is the second country to launch a JETP. Among the world’s ten largest greenhouse gas emitters, Indonesia is now accelerating its transition to clean energy through the JETP’s strengthened commitment to maximise the use of abundant renewable energy resources and a strong political commitment to phase down coal-fired power in the medium-term.

UK COP26 Presidency at Energy Day, COP27

As the world meets in Sharm El-Sheikh ahead of a difficult winter and major pressures on global energy security driven by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the fundamental issue of climate change must remain a top priority for all countries. The cost of renewables continues to fall. The coal pipeline continues to collapse. Finance is being directed towards clean energy. It is clear that energy security and climate security are inextricably linked and the illegal invasion of Ukraine is only a reason to move faster. Diversifying our energy supplies by investing in renewables and accelerating the shift to clean energy is economically right – creating jobs and growth – and is the most effective way to ensure energy security, and avoid the risk of future energy dependency.

On Energy Day at COP27 countries and organisations from across the world are illustrating how they have put their promises into practice. The UK COP26 Presidency is holding a number of events bringing together countries, development banks, investors and civil society to:

  • demonstrate how clean energy is the most attractive option of new power generation for any country;
  • strengthen the clean power investment and assistance offer; and
  • highlight the progress made across the globe to accelerate the energy transition and share best practice.

The energy crisis and the global situation since COP26 demonstrates that the rapid acceleration of renewable energy is not only essential to protecting our planet, but critical to the security of our energy supply and our economies. Countries and partners have continued to answer the call.

Speeding up implementation

COP27 is a time to prioritise implementation. In the past year, commitments have turned into policies, finance is flowing and renewable projects are being produced at a rate never seen before.

Shifting to clean energy and ending our reliance on fossil fuels requires a concerted and sustained policy and delivery effort across multiple sectors, alongside international dialogue on energy markets that draws on strong multilateral support. 

Members of the Energy Transition Council demonstrated ongoing progress in transitioning to clean energy through ministerial, national and local-level dialogues which seek to mobilise finance and assistance. The Council is also responding to 27 technical assistance projects through its Rapid Response Facility across nine ETC partner countries, including Morocco, Kenya, Philippines and Bangladesh.

At COP26, 39 signatories committed to shift international public support into the clean energy transition and out of the fossil fuel energy sector. This initiative has the potential to shift $28bn a year into the clean energy transition. 

The G7 reaffirmed their commitment to this initiative in June 2022. Since Glasgow, the US, France, the Netherlands alongside four additional countries, have enshrined their commitment into policy guidelines, with more expected by the end of 2022. Many of these policies include new products and measures to scale up support for renewable energy. UK Export Finance, for example, has transformed the way it does business to seize opportunities in the clean growth sector, building a pipeline valued up $7.5bn into 2024.  

This is an historic step and sends a clear signal for private investors to follow. This also represents a continued turning point on climate action. Following historical progress on ending international coal finance, prioritising international support for the clean energy transition and out of fossil fuels is now becoming the new norm.

On methane, the UK has adopted early and ambitious measures to tackle emissions. Between 1990 and 2020, UK methane emissions dropped by 62%, more than any other OECD country. The UK Government recognises the urgency to do more, and today publishes its methane memorandum as part of its commitment to the Global Methane Pledge launched at COP26. This Memorandum outlines how the UK has achieved world-leading reductions in methane emissions and will continue to explore and implement measures to secure further progress.At COP27, the UK joined other energy exporters and importers in supporting a joint declaration to reduce GHG emissions from fossil fuels.

The UK and partners marked one year since the launch of the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), to tackle the challenge of absorbing ever larger shares of variable renewable energy, while also meeting our rapidly growing global power needs securely, affordably, and reliably. The programme has developed an ecosystem of key partners, including governments, financiers, regulators, and the private sector, to accelerate green grid projects globally. 

Working with regional partners, the GGI-OSOWOG has established taskforces to accelerate development of key energy interconnection corridors in Southern Africa, create a toolkit to support energy trading and interconnectivity projects, such as the ASEAN Power Grid, and developed a knowledge sharing platform for Small Island Developing States to address the specific grid challenges. GGI Partners also launched a Working Paper on mobilising climate finance for grids, including initial findings from OSeMOSYS Global; a free global energy systems modelling tool to quickly identify least-cost pathways to decarbonise.

To make this transition a reality, the UK, alongside 46 countries representing over 70% of global GDP, launched the Breakthrough Agenda at the World Leaders Summit. Within the Breakthrough Agenda, the Power Breakthrough is working to strengthen international collaboration in specific areas where in doing so we can accelerate progress this decade towards decarbonising the global power system.  

Part of solving the energy transformation involves reducing demand and increasing the efficiency of how we use our energy. Since the launch of the UK-IEA Call to Action on Product Efficiency, which is being delivered through the Super-Efficiency Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative (SEAD), new members joining include Turkey, Panama and EBRD as an institutional member. Together these countries will work with the IEA to decarbonise their power systems through enhanced product efficiency. 

To fully realise this, the UK and IEA established a joint Call to Action on Product Efficiency. Endorsed by 14 countries, these governments will work with the IEA to double the efficiency of four key appliances (which together represent over 40% of global electricity consumption) by 2030, significantly lowering associated emissions from the fall in energy demand.   

There continues to be a firm sign that coal has been consigned to history. The Powering Past Coal Alliance has established a broad coalition with 168 members in total who share experience and best practice through its first global report. It is also engaging with emerging economies, including through a partnership with the South East Asia Energy Transition Partnership.

The PPCA will also launch revised private finance principles in Q1 2023, translating the coal phase out mission of the PPCA into state-of-the-art commitments for financial institutions to tackle private sector coal finance. More than $17 trillion USD assets under management is now committed via PPCA membership to phasing out coal.

Through the UN No New Coal Compact, countries continue to embark on setting the direction of their clean energy transition and have also demonstrated why there is no viable future for coal production as renewable energy continues to expand on a global scale. 

Events hosted by the UK COP26 Presidency on Energy Day at COP27 include:

Full programme here. The UK pavilion is located in Zone B, delegation section 8

  • Putting Promises into Practice: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition: 09:00-10:30 EET in the Blue Zone, Climate Action Zone, Action Room 2 (Lotus), COP27.
  • Enabling a Just Energy Transition in Africa through Partnerships: 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • Bridging the gap from fossil fuels to clean energy: 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • Consigning Coal to History: 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • The Energy Transition Council’s RRF: A Rapid Response Facility for delivering technical assistance in the power sector: 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm EET (UK Pavilion) 
  • Green Grids Initiative: Enabling grids to deliver the energy transition: Between 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm EET (UK Pavilion)