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Experts call for speedy action on reliable alternative energy solutions

Experts called for urgent action on reliable alternative energy solutions to avoid losses in energy transition during a webinar organized jointly by the International Finance Forum, the Task Force on Carbon Pricing in Europe and the Paulson Institute.

"Considering the global context of climate change, we probably need to think about our direction of fast actions on climate change," said Zhu Xian, vice-president and general-sectary of IFF.

"At the same time we also need to jointly raise the concern and review the fragility of some renewable energies and the affordability of future energy supply, which is very important for global economies."

The three organizations jointly held a series of seminar to pave the way for a debate on forming a global carbon pricing mechanism during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this November. The first webinar was held in July.

Over 40 high ranking officials, policy makers and scholars from China, the European Union and the United States and representatives of the International Monetary Fund and International Energy Agency participated in the recent webinar on the fight against climate change ahead of the upcoming Glasgow COP26.

According to Edmond Alphandery, chairman and founder of the Task Force on Carbon Pricing in Europe and former finance minister of France, the global demand for energy in the future will keep increasing in emerging markets due to their legitimate needs arising from rising population and higher standards of living.

The gap between the increasing demand for energy and the urgent goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are challenges for all international leaders, he said.

"To fulfill the goals of the Paris Agreement, there is only one narrow path for organizations, a significant and much more rapid shift in the energy mix between fossil fuel s and carbon free sources of energy such as renewables and nuclear," said Alphandery.

The webinar had three sessions with the first one stressing the urgency to curb the growth in the global stocks of carbon.

The use of renewable energy has increased rapidly in most countries around the world in recent years.

However, according to the analysis of International Energy Agency, the investment in low-carbon energy sector should be doubled or increased further in the coming decade on the current base, which is about $2 trillion a year globally, to achieve the net zero goal.

The investment growth in emerging markets should increase more rapidly, than that in developed countries, which is a clear challenge during the energy transition process, it said.

As a consensus, carbon pricing has been widely regarded as an ideal incentive for promoting low-carbon energy sector and reversing the trend of carbon emissions, according to IMF research.

The IMF is working on an international carbon price floor proposal that sets different minimum carbon prices for countries at different developing levels to get emission on track for the 2 centigrade goal against global warming, while addressing competitiveness concerns.

"For global leadership, it is the critical moment for governments to shift from what to do to how to do it effectively and timely," said Zhu Xian.

"We need to see time-bond action road-maps sector by sector as that will leave an important footprint in our decarbonization efforts."

He also encouraged governments to demonstrate leadership via efficient implementation of the policies and funding low-carbon sectors for emerging markets, facilitating the commercialization and affordability of decarbonization innovations and technologies and supporting related technology transformations.

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