Meeting of major economies on energy and climate September 17, 2021: Summary of the presidency
On September 17, 2021, President Biden convened the Major Economies on Energy and Climate (MEF) Forum, a continuation of the group’s convening at its leaders’ climate summit in April. Participants underscored the urgency of boosting climate ambition ahead of the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 26) in Glasgow and beyond, and many announced their support for a global commitment on methane that will be launched at COP 26.
At the Leaders’ Summit in April, MEF leaders and other participants stressed the importance of strengthening climate ambition on the road to COP 26. Some leaders then announced higher ambition, including new contributions. or updated nationally determined under the Paris Agreement. Others said announcements would be made at a later date.
President Biden was joined in the virtual closed-door meeting on September 17 by leaders from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, European Commission, European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan , Korea, Mexico and the United Kingdom as well as the UN. General secretary. Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry chaired a ministerial session with China, Germany, India and Russia.
US Secretary of State Blinken opened the meeting by summarizing the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which clearly underscored the growing prevalence of climate-related disasters and the strong prospect of consequences. much more serious in the decades to come. action. President Biden called recent climate-related events a “red flash code” and noted that the time to act was shrinking – “to the point of no return”.
Prime Minister Hasina of Bangladesh, representing the Climate Vulnerable Forum, highlighted the significant impacts facing vulnerable countries and the importance of moving from “climate vulnerability to climate resilience to climate prosperity”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stressed that it is not too late to reach a warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, that countries must step up their efforts before COP 26 and that more ambition in mitigation, adaptation and financing was needed.
The participants then addressed four topics:
- Other commitments and actions to be taken in the weeks that remain before COP 26 in Glasgow.
- Potential participation in the Global Methane Pledge to be launched at COP 26.
- The importance of a forward-looking COP outcome that reflects the collective commitment of the Parties to the Paris Agreement to continue to strengthen their ambition and actions after Glasgow.
- Plans to use the post-Glasgow MEF as a springboard for collective and concrete efforts to scale up climate action in the decisive decade of the 2020s.
Regarding other commitments and actions, many stressed the critical importance of keeping a 1.5 degree C limit within reach and achieving zero global net emissions by mid-century. Participants indicated a variety of additional actions underway, including national implementation measures, the intention to increase the ambition of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by COP 26, national and international coal-related efforts, and others. Many also stressed the importance of supporting developing countries in climate transition, including achieving the developed countries’ goal of raising $ 100 billion per year.
Recognizing that methane is a potent, short-lived climate pollutant that already accounts for about half of the 1.0 ° C net warming to date, the Global Methane Pledge, an effort co-initiated by the United States and the Union, will involve a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 and the implementation of related national measures. The importance of rapidly reducing methane emissions was widely recognized at the meeting, and many MEF members including the European Union, Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom United and the United States have declared their intention to join. It was reported that non-MEF countries, including Ghana and Iraq, have also signaled their intention to join the Global Methane Pledge. These early supporters of the Commitment include six of the top 15 methane emitters in the world and together account for more than a fifth of global methane emissions and almost half of the global economy.
Regarding COP 26, there was broad agreement on the importance of a successful COP which not only includes the completion of the Paris ‘settlement’ and strong outcomes on adaptation and finance, but also recognizes the decisive nature of the 2020s and reflects the collective commitment of the Parties to the Paris Agreement will continue to strengthen their ambition to keep a 1.5 ° C limit of warming within reach.
President Biden also outlined U.S. plans to use the MEF at the leadership and ministerial level to facilitate targeted efforts similar to the Global Methane Pledge. Going forward, the MEF will continue to serve as a high-level political forum to advance key climate-related issues among the world’s major economies. In light of the urgency to take further climate action, President Biden explained that he also plans to strengthen the role of the MEF as a platform to launch cooperative efforts that accelerate concrete action. . Such action will include several components focusing on key areas, including energy, industry, land and ocean. The United States plans to kick off those efforts with a meeting of MEF ministers in January 2022 to discuss clean energy goals in the energy, transportation, industrial and construction sectors. President Biden also said he plans to reconvene MEF leaders to take stock of progress.
In his closing remarks, Presidential Special Envoy Kerry cited the Global Methane Commitment as an important contribution to tackling the climate crisis and an example of practical approaches for transformative action. He underlined the urgency to act in the 2020s and called on countries to seize all opportunities, including the next G20 summit in Rome, to strengthen ambition ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow.
The participants included:
- President Alberto Fernandez, Argentine Republic
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Commonwealth of Australia
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, People’s Republic of Bangladesh
- President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
- President Charles Michel, European Council
- President Joko Widodo, Republic of Indonesia
- Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italian Republic
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan
- President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea
- President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, United Mexican States
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Secretary General António Guterres, United Nations
- President’s Special Envoy and China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua, People’s Republic of China
- Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Federal Republic of Germany
- Union Cabinet Minister of Labor and Employment, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, India
- President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Russian Federation