GWEC welcomes the new language on clean power generation at COP26: GWEC CEO Ben Backwell

GWEC’s CEO Ben Backwell speaking on the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact said “So, the Glasgow Climate Pact has been agreed.

There are some positive elements in the final text, and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)  particularly welcomes the new language on “rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation”.

Language on phasing out coal was watered down at the last minute (at India’s behest) to “phase-down” while the language on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies was watered down to “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. Many countries expressed their “deep disappointment” with the changes and pointed out that the language is not consistent with the science behind achieving a 1.5 degree pathway, and that “phase-down” does not provide a clearly defined objective.

Also, the outcome now puts the onus on countries to come back again ahead of COP27 in Egypt with pledges which are compliant with Paris, and it’s vitally important that pressure is maintained so that this happens once and for all. It is a positive outcome that the text “requests” that governments submit their revised NDCs in 2022, rather than further ahead as a couple of countries had tried to propose.

The direction of travel continues to be clear, and I believe that there is such strong momentum now from governments, business, and civil society that it will be increasingly difficult for any parties to delay or obstruct progress in the year ahead.

Meanwhile, the real work on the ground will continue. The renewable energy sector, with wind at the forefront, has already laid the basis for rapid and cost-effective decarbonisation. We will work with with a growing coalition of actors to accelerate the energy transition across the world in the months ahead.”