“After COP26: What it takes to avert the climate crisis”, Claudia Kemfert (IEP, Germany)

There were hopes that world leaders would take decisive action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow held in November 2021, not least because of the growing acceptance for climate action in the public debate and recent natural disasters illustrating the consequences of climate change. However, the climate pact agreed in Glasgow fell short of expectations, despite some important, yet insufficient, progress in the fight against climate change such as the agreement of nearly 200 countries to phase down coal the most important achievement. Even though recent measures by the EU, the United States, China and other key players suggest that real climate action is finally at the top of the political agenda, neither the level of ambition nor the level of implementation is sufficient to achieve meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goals, argues Prof Dr Claudia Kemfert. What the world really needs, the author argues, is a rapid transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy supply and storage for everything. Firstly, this would reduce primary energy demand. Secondly, a full supply of 100 per cent renewable energy even has lower energy system costs than a conventional one. The author also demands the German government to take on a pioneering role and establish together with its European partners and other willing countries, a climate alliance for the phasing out of fossil fuels and the transition to a full supply of renewable energies.

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