Executive Director addresses world leaders on critical areas for action at Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate
21 April 2023
Scene-setting remarks to leaders from across globe at event convened by US President Biden highlight rapid progress of clean energy technologies but also need for stronger policy action
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol addressed world leaders today at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate convened by US President Joe Biden, highlighting the critical areas where immediate action is needed to bring down emissions this decade quickly enough to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C within reach.
Aimed at galvanising efforts to tackle the climate crisis, the Major Economies Forum brought together the presidents and government leaders of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, the European Commission, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom – as well as the United Nations Secretary-General and ministers from China, France, India, and Italy. The event was chaired by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
Providing scene-setting remarks after President Biden’s opening speech, Dr Birol stressed to world leaders that the clean energy economy is emerging faster than many people think as a result of the rapid progress in technologies such as solar, electric cars and heat pumps – but that stronger actions is still needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
“What happens this decade is crucial,” he said. “The good news is that we have the technologies needed to bring about a decisive peak in emissions this decade, as the record deployment of clean energy in 2022 shows. Today, 1.5 °C is still within reach, but the world must put emissions into decline before 2025 and then continue on a trajectory to rapidly bring them to net zero by mid-century.”
Dr Birol’s remarks and IEA analysis were referenced by several of the leaders who spoke subsequently over the course of the Forum.
To support the dialogue at the Major Economies Forum and important multilateral events through the rest of this year such as the COP28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai, the IEA released a new report today: Credible Pathways to 1.5 °C: Four pillars for action in the 2020s. The report focuses on the key areas of action needed this decade to keep within reach the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C.