The year 2023 will go down in history for record-breaking temperatures and shocking floods, droughts and storms which devastated many regions of the world. However, from a positive perspective, it seems that the world is finally waking up to the climate emergency with over 90 countries, representing 92 per cent of global GDP, now committed to net zero targets.

Against this backdrop, the UAE hosted COP28 and delivered the first Global Stocktake of progress against climate goals since adopting the Paris Agreement in 2015. With over 80,000 delegates from across governments, institutions, corporates and other key stakeholders, this meet is being described as the most inclusive COP ever.

Hitachi Energy engaged in thought leadership activities across several platforms, emphasizing the enablers and catalysts required to accelerate energy transition, highlighting the critical role of power grids and technology deployment at speed and scale as well as the significance of innovative policies, regulations, and business models to ensure resilient supply chains.

The final COP28 consensus includes the need for deep, accelerated, and sustainable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and a transition away from fossil fuels. This is historic! The text highlights that global alignment around emissions reductions is consistent with 1.5ºC and net zero commitments.

Another significant achievement was the agreement to a tripling of renewable energy capacity globally and a doubling of the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

Other notable announcements included the operationalisation of the loss and damage fund to help lower-income countries cope with the impact of climate change on Day 1 of the conference, including the first pledges from wealthy nations to support the fund.

While these are all commendable outcomes, we must turn vision into reality, acknowledging that while the end goal is common, each country has a different starting point and circumstances that require alternate pathways and trajectories. The need for collective action to ensure a just transition is urgent - and the cost of inaction is catastrophic. We must act, act together and act now!

(The writer is CEO of Hitachi Energy, a global power technology major)

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