This weekend, 118 countries at the COP28 climate summit pledged to triple the world’s renewable power capacity and double the pace of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. The deal echoed a recent report by the International Energy Agency, or IEA, which named those targets as essential to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Now, delegates are calling for the same commitments to be included in the conference’s final decision, which will summarize the actions countries plan to take to address the climate crisis.
Energy experts told Grist that the pledge is a sign that energy efficiency, a relatively overlooked climate solution, is gaining momentum on the global stage. Compared to tripling renewables, energy efficiency — which the IEA defines as using less energy to achieve the same economic output — received far less attention leading up to this year’s conference. A recent climate deal between the U.S. and China, for example, didn’t mention doubling energy efficiency improvements, while a G20 statement from September only “take[s] note” of the target.... Read more