The UK government has announced a £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) under its International Climate Finance.
This funding will help developing countries more easily access innovative clean energy technologies to foster clean growth, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage.
COP26 President and British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma announced a series of new climate commitments at the launch of Climate Week NYC, which runs alongside the UNGA.
He confirmed that major new companies have joined the Race to Zero campaign to accelerate net zero commitments from businesses, cities, regions and investors, including Ford, the first US automotive company to join; LafargeHolcim, the world’s largest cement company; and global social media company Facebook.
Their decision demonstrates the clear momentum behind the shift towards a decarbonised economy, said a media release.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Lord Callanan also spoke at a special event on Monday about the next decade of clean energy cooperation.
Lord Callanan announced the launch of the COP26 Energy Transition Council to bring together leaders in the power sector across politics, finance and technology to speed up the transition from coal to renewables in developing countries.
The UK will chair the Council alongside the co-chair Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
Together, members will drive the shift to green energy ahead of COP26.
Sharma said climate change affects everyone and they all have a part to play to champion climate action ahead of COP26.
Through the Energy Transition Council and the UK’s ambitious climate finance commitments, he hoped to drive the transition to cleaner energies. “I urge all businesses, cities and regions to join the Race to Zero coalition.”
Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of SEforALL, said they cannot achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement or Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – without a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind.
“Today, just under 800 million people globally lack access to electricity and we must close these gaps with renewable, efficient and affordable solutions.”
The COP26 Energy Transition Council will play a leading role in supporting countries to move away from fossil fuels and unleash a prosperous, equitable and clean energy transition as they recover better from the pandemic.
Ahead of COP26, the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy will support this vision, including through Energy Compacts and multi-stakeholder partnerships that aim to accelerate universal energy transition and access.
Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said those involved in the Race to Zero have made a commitment to build that future and to achieve specific goals and will be held to those promises.
“The world cannot afford to be let down. Nor can this campaign become something that allows nations to defer action until a later date.
“It’s about needing more climate ambition and climate action now—in 2020.”
Also read: UK helps reduce over 30m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions globally