International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol addressed world leaders on the progress the world has made on clean energy and the challenges it still faces to meet its energy and climate goals.
He delivered a keynote speech last week at the COP27 World Leaders Summit plenary session in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which was chaired by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and attended by more than 20 heads of state, as well as leaders of businesses and international organisations.
Dr Birol emphasised the recent marked increase in clean energy investment and how the current energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is set to be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy future, as he set out in an opinion article he was invited by The Economist to write to coincide with the start of COP27.
In his remarks to leaders, he highlighted the finding of our recent World Energy Outlook 2022 that if all countries reach their climate targets in full and on time, it would limit the global temperature rise to 1.7 °C – a great achievement that would be close to the Paris Agreement goal of well below 2 °C but still short of the critical 1.5 °C goal, which demands both greater ambition and efforts.
Dr Birol also held bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers, Ministers and other leaders from countries including Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Norway, Oman, the United Kingdom, the United States, as well as heads of international organisations.