The clock is ticking on energy transition
As the world's leaders prepare for the first Global Stocktake, big questions are being asked about energy transition.
As the world’s leaders prepare for the first Global Stocktake, big questions are being asked about energy transition.
When the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference — COP28 — convenes in Dubai on 30 November, one of the key goals will be getting the world to agree on how fast global decarbonisation should happen.
Part of that equation is determining a funding mechanism to help poorer countries decarbonise and adapt to the climate change that can’t be avoided.
These meetings have happened every year since 1995, when countries met in Berlin to discuss what later became the Kyoto Protocol.
Now, countries are focused on implementing its successor, the Paris Agreement. The agreement aims to limit “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and to pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it is estimated that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43 percent by 2030. Emissions in 2022 were higher than ever.
With that in mind, COP28 is introducing a Global Stocktake to evaluate progress on the Paris Agreement and identify shortfalls. Future stocktakes are going to be held every five years, in between the years when countries update their targets.
The road to a comprehensive energy transition is long, but work is underway: the electric vehicle revolution is picking up pace, especially in Southeast Asia. While market penetration is still a low 2.1 percent in the region, resourcing is getting easier.
According to Tham Siew Yean of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Indonesia is leading the race due to its large nickel reserves.”
But the others are catching up with the discovery of critical minerals in Malaysia as well as the reported mining of nickel in Vietnam by Australian company Blackstone Minerals for production in 2025,” she writes.
“New EV batteries are being developed that will reduce the use of nickel to a combination of minerals that are more readily available and cost-effective.”
Malaysia has committed to a strong solar energy regime, lifting renewables to 25 percent of the country’s power mix. According to Universiti Tenaga Nasional’s Ungku Anisa Ungku Amirulddin, Malaysia’s solar energy future “looks bright”.
“Although there are still several challenges ahead, Malaysia has set new initiatives under the National Renewable Energy Policy, which will accelerate the growth of solar energy as Malaysia’s predominant renewable energy source.”
Many medium-sized countries, like Germany, Brazil and Canada, supply over 60 percent of their electricity from renewables.
But the three biggest — China, the United States and India, who collectively make up just over half of the world’s electricity — all produced less than half of it from renewables in 2022.
Editors Note: In the story “Energy transition” sent at: 30/10/2023 15:39.
This is a corrected repeat.