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COP26 could be 'a turning point' as Energy Transition Council unveiled

Image: UN Climate Change Conference.

Image: UN Climate Change Conference.

A COP26 Energy Transition Council has been launched to help “speed progress on the way to COP26”.

The council - unveiled yesterday (21 September) in a speech given by parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Lord Callanan - is to bring together leaders of the global power sector to help accelerate the transition from coal to clean power.

It will be co-chaired by the UN secretary general’s special representative for sustainable energy, Damilola Ogunbiya, and COP president and energy secretary Alok Sharma.

Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency and Francesco La Camera of the International Renewable Energy Agency are also to work on the initiative, Lord Callanan said, alongside leaders from multilateral development banks and representatives of governments, business and civil society.

"I ask you all to work with us to make COP26 a turning point," Lord Callanan said in his speech, adding that "we must work together, with determination, until the job is completed".

Glasgow is to host COP26 in November 2021, following the event being pushed back due to COVID-19.

The COP26 Energy Transition Council has been designed to ensure that clean power is the most attractive option for every country considering new power generation, as well as to help the most coal-dependent communities achieve a just transition.

This will be done through development assistance, climate finance and the sharing of expertise, Lord Callanan said.

A new £50 million Clean Energy Innovation Facility is also to be created to help developing countries accelerate the commercialisation of clean energy technologies, supporting clean growth and a resilient recovery from COVID-19.

“As we enter a new decade, we must abandon the idea that reducing global emissions is a challenge of burden sharing.

"The challenge, instead, is one of opportunity sharing: working together to accelerate the transition to zero emission technologies that give us cheaper energy, cleaner air, and more jobs and growth," Lord Callanan said.

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