On June 17, 2022, President Biden convened his third Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) to build on the progress achieved at COP 26 by further strengthening climate action while also addressing urgent energy and food security concerns arising from Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine. Participants shared steps they are taking to strengthen their national climate efforts, and many joined the United States in initiatives to reduce methane emissions, speed the commercialization of critical technologies, put more zero-emission vehicles on the road, decarbonize ocean-based shipping, and increase fertilizer efficiency and alternatives. The initiatives will bolster energy security and food security, speed the clean energy transition, and accelerate efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and the U.N. Secretary-General participated in the virtual meeting.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry opened the meeting by noting the valuable role the Major Economies Forum played in 2021 in contributing to the progress achieved at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26) and emphasizing the urgency of building on that progress at COP 27 in November in Sharm el-Sheikh.
President Biden emphasized that, while COP 26 brought the world much closer to a 1.5-degree Celsius limit on temperature rise, the world’s leading scientists have since underscored once more, with increased alarm, the rapidly narrowing window for decisive action to stem the climate crisis. In line with the United States’ “Implementation-Plus” approach, the President called on countries to dedicate themselves to implementing existing goals while undertaking additional efforts to strengthen climate ambition. Noting that the Glasgow Climate Pact calls on countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) emissions targets as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal, he urged participants to share any steps they are taking to update their targets. The President also outlined new initiatives in the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors and invited participants to join the United States in undertaking them.
President Biden and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt announced that the United States and Egypt will partner on Adaptation in Africa, including at COP 27, with a focus on tangible actions to improve people’s lives and build resilience to a changing climate.
Leaders spoke to the imperative and urgency of further strengthening action in this critical decade, including references to the importance of countries updating NDC targets this year that are not yet in line with the Paris Agreement temperature goal and to the need for submitting or updating long-term strategies. Many emphasized the link between climate security and energy security, noting that Russia’s war in Ukraine only highlights the need to accelerate the clean energy transition and that renewable energy supports energy security. Many highlighted the importance of scaling up finance and investment and underscored the economic and social benefits of a just energy transition. Leaders commended Egypt for its efforts to ensure the success of COP 27.
With respect to 2030 NDC targets:
- Australia noted that it submitted this week an enhanced NDC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.
- Chile announced that it will strengthen its NDC, aiming to bring it in line with the vital goal of keeping within reach a 1.5 degree C limit on global temperature rise.
- Egypt announced that it is putting the finishing touches on an updated NDC, which will include specific ambitious quantitative targets in multiple sectors.
- Indonesia indicated that it is in the process of updating its NDC.
- Mexico intends to submit an enhanced 2030 NDC target in line with the Paris temperature goal ahead of COP 27.
- Turkey said it will submit an updated NDC by the end of this year.
- The United Arab Emirates announced that it intends to submit an enhanced 2030 NDC target this year.
- Vietnam will enhance its NDC.
Participants also announced other steps to strengthen national and regional climate efforts, including closing coal-fired power plants; instituting and expanding carbon pricing; setting ambitious national zero-emissions vehicle targets; setting ambitious national methane targets and developing methane abatement plans; increasing renewables, including through specific targets, incorporating climate assessments into the development of national budgets; modernizing hydroelectric plants; making large-scale investments in solar energy; pursuing efforts in the agricultural sector to promote emission reductions and food security; pursuing sustainable forestry initiatives; investing in hydrogen and ammonia; promoting reliable supplies of clean energy minerals and materials; strengthening national adaptation efforts; and pursuing regional mitigation and resilience efforts.
With respect to new joint initiatives:
- The United State and the European Union, building on the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) they launched last year, announced a new Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway , with Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Norway as inaugural members. The Energy Pathway aims to encourage all nations to capture the maximum potential of cost-effective methane mitigation in the oil and gas sector and to eliminate routine flaring as soon as possible, and no later than 2030. The participants cover two-fifths of global gas production and three-fifths of global gas import volumes. Countries and supporting organizations have announced $59 million in dedicated funding and in-kind assistance in support of the Pathway. With Egypt joining the Global Methane Pledge with respect to the oil and gas sector, 120 countries have now joined the Pledge.
- Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates expressed support for the Clean Energy Technologies Demonstration Challenge to raise $90 billion of public funding by 2026 to build commercial-scale demonstration projects that the IEA reports are needed this decade to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. In support of this goal, the United States and the European Commission highlighted planned investments totaling more than $50 billion. Countries are to announce their specific investment levels and action plans at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum this September in Pittsburgh.
- Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom joined the United States in a collective 2030 zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) deployment goal of ZEVs comprising 50 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2030, to include battery electric, fuel cell electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom expressed support for the Green Shipping Challenge, which encourages governments, ports, maritime carriers, cargo owners, and others to come forward at COP 27 with concrete steps, such as producing zero-emission fuels or creating green shipping corridors, that will help put the international shipping sector on a credible pathway this decade toward full decarbonization no later than 2050.
- The European Commission, Germany, and Norway expressed support for the Global Fertilizer Challenge, which aims to raise $100 million by COP 27 to strengthen food security and reduce agricultural emissions by advancing fertilizer efficiency and alternatives. The initiative will seek to ease pressure on fertilizer and natural gas supplies, lower nitrous oxide emissions, increase fertilizer availability and agricultural productivity, and reduce food insecurity globally by helping countries with high fertilizer usage and loss adopt efficient nutrient management and alternative fertilizers and cropping systems.
In closing remarks, Special Presidential Envoy Kerry said the announcements made, including with respect to NDC enhancement and the various new initiatives, will bring the world closer to keeping a 1.5 degree C limit on temperature rise within reach. He noted that each initiative addresses a different aspect of the climate challenge and an area where countries can work together. He stressed the need to move away from business as usual and “break the mold.” He urged leaders to further strengthen the spirit of cooperation on the road to COP 27 and beyond.
- His Excellency Alberto Fernández, President of the Argentine Republic
- The Honorable Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia
- The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada
- His Excellency Gabriel Boric, President of the Republic of Chile
- His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
- Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
- His Excellency Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
- His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia
- His Excellency Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan
- His Excellency Han Duck-Soo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea
- His Excellency Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of the United Mexican States
- His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- His Excellency Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway
- His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey
- His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates
- The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States of America
- His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- His Excellency Xie Zhenhua, Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China
- Her Excellency Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition of the French Republic
- His Excellency Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Republic of India
- His Excellency Roberto Cingolani, Minister of Ecological Transition of the Italian Republic
- His Excellency Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Member of the Council of Ministers, and Envoy for Climate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- The Right Honorable Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- His Excellency Tran Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam