On June 17, 2022, President Biden convened his third Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) to build on the progress made at COP 26 by further strengthening climate action while addressing pressing energy and food security concerns that resulting from further invasion of Russia Ukraine. Participants shared steps they are taking to increase their national climate efforts, and many joined the United States on initiatives to reduce methane emissions, accelerate the commercialization of critical technologies, put more zero-emission vehicles on the road, to decarbonize maritime shipping and increase fertilizer efficiency and alternatives. The initiatives will strengthen energy and food security, accelerate the clean energy transition and accelerate efforts to address the climate crisis.
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam , and the UN Secretary-General attended the virtual meeting.
The President’s Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, opened the meeting by noting the valuable role played by the Major Economies Forum in 2021 in contributing to the progress made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26) have been achieved and stressed the urgency of building on this progress at COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in November.
President Biden stressed that while COP 26 brought the world much closer to a 1.5 degree limit on temperature rise, the world’s leading scientists have since renewed with growing concern the rapidly narrowing window of opportunity for decisive action to mitigate the climate crisis to have . In line with the United States’ “Implementation Plus” approach, the President called on countries to dedicate themselves to the implementation of existing goals while making additional efforts to strengthen climate ambitions. Noting that the Glasgow Climate Pact requires countries to reconsider and strengthen their 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets to align with the Paris Agreement temperature target, he urged participants to share any steps taken they undertake to update their goals. The President also outlined new initiatives in the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors and invited participants to join the United States in implementing them.
President Biden and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt announced that the United States and Egypt will work together on adaptation in Africa, including at COP 27, with a focus on concrete actions to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities Resilience to a changing climate.
Leaders spoke of the need and urgency for further enhanced action during this critical decade, including references to the importance of countries updating NDC targets this year that are not yet aligned with the Paris Agreement temperature target and the need long term term strategies. Stressing the link between climate security and energy security, many noted that Russia’s war in Ukraine only highlights the need to accelerate the clean energy transition and that renewable energy supports energy security. Many stressed the importance of increasing finance and investment, and underlined the economic and social benefits of a just energy transition. Leaders commended Egypt for its efforts to ensure the success of COP27.
Regarding the NDC targets for 2030:
- Australia noted that it presented an expanded NDC this week to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.
- Chile said it would strengthen its NDC to align it with the vital goal of keeping a 1.5 degree limit on global temperature rise within reach.
- Egypt announced that it was finalizing an updated NDC that would include specific ambitious quantitative targets in several sectors.
- Indonesia indicated that it is in the process of updating its NDC.
- Mexico intends to present an improved NDC target for 2030 in line with the Paris temperature target before COP 27.
- Turkey said it will submit an updated NDC by the end of this year.
- The United Arab Emirates announced that they intend to present an extended NDC target for 2030 this year.
- Vietnam will improve its NDC.
Participants also announced other steps to strengthen national and regional climate action, including closing coal-fired power plants; introduction and expansion of carbon pricing; setting ambitious national targets for zero-emission vehicles; Setting ambitious national methane targets and developing methane abatement plans; Expansion of renewable energies, including through specific targets, inclusion of climate assessments in the development of national budgets; modernization of hydroelectric power plants; make large investments in solar energy; continuing efforts in the agricultural sector to promote emission reductions and food security; pursuing sustainable forest management initiatives; investments in hydrogen and ammonia; Promote a reliable supply of clean energy minerals and materials; strengthening national adaptation efforts; and continuing regional mitigation and resilience efforts.
Regarding new joint initiatives:
- The United States and European Union have announced a new one, building on the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) introduced last year Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway , with Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria and Norway as founding members. The Energy Pathway aims to encourage all nations to realize the maximum potential for cost-effective methane abatement in the oil and gas sector and to eliminate routine flaring as soon as possible and no later than 2030. The participants cover two-fifths of global gas production and three-fifths of global gas import volume. Countries and supporting organizations have announced $59 million in dedicated funding and in-kind contributions to support the Pathway. With Egypt joining the Global Methane Pledge in relation to the oil and gas sector, 120 countries have now joined the Pledge.
- Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates expressed their support for the Clean energy technology demonstration challenge Raise $90 billion in public funding by 2026 to build commercial-scale demonstration projects needed this decade to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, according to IEA reports. In support of this goal, the United States and the European Commission highlighted planned investments totaling more than $50 billion. Countries will announce their specific investment levels and action plans at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh this September.
- Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Norway and the United Kingdom joined the United States a collective target for zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2030 of ZEVs, which will account for 50 percent of new light commercial vehicle sales by 2030, including battery electric, fuel cell electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway and the United Kingdom expressed their support Green Shipping Challengewhich encourages governments, ports, shipping companies, cargo owners and others to present concrete steps at COP 27, such as the production of zero-emission fuels or the creation of green shipping corridors, that will help set the international shipping sector on a credible path this decade is heading towards full decarbonization by 2050 at the latest.
- The European Commission, Germany and Norway expressed their support for the Global Fertilizer Challenge, which aims to raise US$100 million by COP 27 to strengthen food security and reduce agricultural emissions by driving efficiencies of fertilizers and alternatives. The initiative will aim to ease pressure on fertilizer and natural gas supplies, reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, increase fertilizer availability and agricultural productivity, and reduce global food insecurity by helping countries with high levels of fertilizer use and loss to introduce efficient nutrient management and alternative fertilizers and cultivation systems.
In the closing remarks, the President’s special envoy Kerry said the announcements made, including in relation to the NDC improvement and the various new initiatives, will bring the world closer to having a 1.5 degree limit on temperature rise within reach to keep. He noted that each initiative addresses a different aspect of the climate challenge and an area where countries can work together. He stressed the need to get away from business as usual and “break the mold”. He urged leaders to further strengthen the spirit of cooperation towards COP 27 and beyond.
The participants included:
- His Excellency Alberto Fernández, President of the Republic of Argentina
- The Honorable Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia
- The Honorable Justin Trudeau, PC, MP, Prime Minister of Canada
- His Excellency Gabriel Boric, President of the Republic of Chile
- His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
- Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
- His Excellency Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
- His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia
- His Excellency Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan
- His Excellency Han Duck-Soo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea
- His Excellency Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of the United Mexican States
- His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- His Excellency Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway
- His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey
- His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates
- The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States of America
- His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations
- His Excellency Xie Zhenhua, Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China
- Her Excellency Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition of the French Republic
- His Excellency Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change of the Republic of India
- His Excellency Roberto Cingolani, Minister for Ecological Transition of the Italian Republic
- His Excellency Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Member of the Council of Ministers and Envoy for Climate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- The Right Honorable Alok Sharma MP, President of COP26, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- His Excellency Tran Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam