Major emitters must assist global clean energy transition: Sherry Rehman

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“The historic emitters responsible for the majority of global GHG emissions need to move resources to allow developing and emerging economies to make the energy transition to renewables without compromising on development,” said Senator Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting being held in Davos.

The Minister was speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Bending the Emissions Curve’ where she was joined by Mr. Shunichi Miyanaga, Chairman of the Board, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mr. Dolf van den Brink, Chief Executive Officer, Heineken, and Mr. Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Baker Hughes. The panel was moderated by CNBC’s journalist and anchor, Steve Sedgwick.

Minister Rehman said that the commitment towards net-zero by 2050 loses its meaning if the 1.5C target is no longer achievable.

“We are on an ambitious track to net-zero but all of that takes a huge pause if the 1.5C target set under the Paris Agreement is under threat, as we are struggling to keep it alive. If we continue as business as usual, we are hurtling towards a 3.0C world which will be a race against time for many of us.

We experience the burn much faster and harder than anybody else, and in a kind of scale that nobody has seen. We are in geographies of extreme vulnerability and our experience of climate change and global warming is very nonlinear,” she stated.

Minister Rehman highlighted that the pledges and commitments towards clean energy transition are quickly abandoned when there is a threat to the world’s addiction to excess energy.

“A global reset is needed because the addiction to energy and consumption is taking away the futures of those that live in the arc of vulnerability, and also of those living in the developed world.

It will be too late to change our addictions and habits to energy consumption as we are speeding towards a planet that’s burning up, with investment in renewable energy not where it needs to be to save the planet.