1) Chair’s Summary of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Held by President Joe Biden
On June 17, 2022, President Biden convened his third Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) to build on the progress achieved at COP 26 by further strengthening climate action while also addressing urgent energy and food security concerns arising from Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine. Participants shared steps they are taking to strengthen their national climate efforts, and many joined the United States in initiatives to reduce methane emissions, speed the commercialization of critical technologies, put more zero-emission vehicles on the road, decarbonize ocean-based shipping, and increase fertilizer efficiency and alternatives. The initiatives will bolster energy security and food security, speed the clean energy transition, and accelerate efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and the U.N. Secretary-General participated in the virtual meeting.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry opened the meeting by noting the valuable role the Major Economies Forum played in 2021 in contributing to the progress achieved at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26) and emphasizing the urgency of building on that progress at COP 27 in November in Sharm el-Sheikh.
President Biden emphasized that, while COP 26 brought the world much closer to a 1.5-degree Celsius limit on temperature rise, the world’s leading scientists have since underscored once more, with increased alarm, the rapidly narrowing window for decisive action to stem the climate crisis. In line with the United States’ “Implementation-Plus” approach, the President called on countries to dedicate themselves to implementing existing goals while undertaking additional efforts to strengthen climate ambition. Noting that the Glasgow Climate Pact calls on countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) emissions targets as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal, he urged participants to share any steps they are taking to update their targets. The President also outlined new initiatives in the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors and invited participants to join the United States in undertaking them.
President Biden and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt announced that the United States and Egypt will partner on Adaptation in Africa, including at COP 27, with a focus on tangible actions to improve people’s lives and build resilience to a changing climate.
Leaders spoke to the imperative and urgency of further strengthening action in this critical decade, including references to the importance of countries updating NDC targets this year that are not yet in line with the Paris Agreement temperature goal and to the need for submitting or updating long-term strategies. Many emphasized the link between climate security and energy security, noting that Russia’s war in Ukraine only highlights the need to accelerate the clean energy transition and that renewable energy supports energy security. Many highlighted the importance of scaling up finance and investment and underscored the economic and social benefits of a just energy transition. Leaders commended Egypt for its efforts to ensure the success of COP 27.
With respect to 2030 NDC targets:
Australia noted that it submitted this week an enhanced NDC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Chile announced that it will strengthen its NDC, aiming to bring it in line with the vital goal of keeping within reach a 1.5 degree C limit on global temperature rise.
Egypt announced that it is putting the finishing touches on an updated NDC, which will include specific ambitious quantitative targets in multiple sectors.
Indonesia indicated that it is in the process of updating its NDC.
Mexico intends to submit an enhanced 2030 NDC target in line with the Paris temperature goal ahead of COP 27.
Turkey said it will submit an updated NDC by the end of this year.
The United Arab Emirates announced that it intends to submit an enhanced 2030 NDC target this year.
Vietnam will enhance its NDC.
Participants also announced other steps to strengthen national and regional climate efforts, including closing coal-fired power plants; instituting and expanding carbon pricing; setting ambitious national zero-emissions vehicle targets; setting ambitious national methane targets and developing methane abatement plans; increasing renewables, including through specific targets, incorporating climate assessments into the development of national budgets; modernizing hydroelectric plants; making large-scale investments in solar energy; pursuing efforts in the agricultural sector to promote emission reductions and food security; pursuing sustainable forestry initiatives; investing in hydrogen and ammonia; promoting reliable supplies of clean energy minerals and materials; strengthening national adaptation efforts; and pursuing regional mitigation and resilience efforts.
With respect to new joint initiatives:
The United State and the European Union, building on the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) they launched last year, announced a new Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway, with Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Norway as inaugural members. The Energy Pathway aims to encourage all nations to capture the maximum potential of cost-effective methane mitigation 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 volumes. . . . Countries are to announce their specific investment levels and action plans at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum this September in Pittsburgh.
Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom joined the United States in a collective 2030 zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) deployment goal of ZEVs comprising 50 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2030, to include battery electric, fuel cell electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom expressed support for the Green Shipping Challenge, which encourages governments, ports, maritime carriers, cargo owners, and others to come forward at COP 27 with concrete steps, such as producing zero-emission fuels or creating green shipping corridors, that will help put the international shipping sector on a credible pathway this decade toward full decarbonization no later than 2050.
The European Commission, Germany, and Norway expressed support for the Global Fertilizer Challenge, which aims to raise $100 million by COP 27 to strengthen food security and reduce agricultural emissions by advancing fertilizer efficiency and alternatives. The initiative will seek to ease pressure on fertilizer and natural gas supplies, lower nitrous oxide emissions, increase fertilizer availability and agricultural productivity, and reduce food insecurity globally by helping countries with high fertilizer usage and loss adopt efficient nutrient management and alternative fertilizers and cropping systems.
In closing remarks, Special Presidential Envoy Kerry said the announcements made, including with respect to NDC enhancement and the various new initiatives, will bring the world closer to keeping a 1.5 degree C limit on temperature rise within reach. 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 move away from business as usual and “break the mold.” He urged leaders to further strengthen the spirit of cooperation on the road to COP 27 and beyond.
2) Remarks by President Biden at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate
3) FACT SHEET: President Biden to Galvanize Global Action to Strengthen Energy-Security and Tackle the Climate Crisis through the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate
At today’s meeting, President Biden’s third MEF convening since taking office, world leaders will raise ambition and, following U. S. leadership, join new efforts and initiatives aimed at tackling the climate crisis while advancing energy security and food security, including:
Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway: Tackling methane leaks, venting, and flaring from the oil and gas sector by capturing wasted gas and bringing it to market — bolstering our energy security and climate goals;
Collective 2030 Zero-Emission Vehicle Goal and Green Shipping Challenge: Putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road and decarbonizing ocean-based shipping — reducing emissions in the transport sector while breaking our dependence on volatile oil markets and prices;
Clean Energy Technologies Demonstration Challenge: Speeding the commercialization of new technologies — enabling us to break dependence on other unabated, volatile fossil fuels and advance the clean energy transition; and
Efforts to Enhance Food Security: Increasing fertilizer efficiency and alternatives — reducing agriculture emissions while bolstering global food security.
The major economies that compose the MEF together account for roughly 80 percent of global GDP and global greenhouse gas emissions. Leader-level MEF meetings convened by President Biden in April and September 2021 contributed to the progress achieved at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26), where new commitments and initiatives brought the world much closer to keeping a 1.5-degree Celsius limit on warming within reach.
The MEF meeting will continue President Biden’s consistent engagement with leaders since Glasgow to further accelerate climate action, including at the recent meeting of the Quad, the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit, the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, and this month’s Summit of the Americas.
Citing a recent round of international scientific assessments urgently underscoring the narrowing window for decisive action, President Biden will urge leaders to step up their climate efforts and to achieve further progress at COP 27 this November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. He will emphasize that the market disruptions triggered by the Ukraine crisis underscore the urgency of accelerating the clean energy transition — to alleviate both climate and energy security risks — and enhancing the resilience of the global food system.
To this end, several countries are expected to announce new 2030 emission targets as part of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, with many intending to strengthen their existing 2030 NDC targets before COP 27. Leaders will also join collective efforts launched by President Biden across the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors, as described below. . . .