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Energy Transition Accelerator Advances with New Secretariat, Expert Consultative Group

Energy Transition Accelerator Advances with New Secretariat, Expert Consultative Group

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Rockefeller Foundation today announced next steps for the future governance and structure of the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), a high-integrity carbon finance platform aimed at catalyzing private capital to support ambitious just energy transition strategies in developing and emerging economies. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will serve as the ETA's secretariat, and former Secretary of State John Kerry will serve as honorary chair of the ETA's newly established Senior Consultative Group.

Today's announcements at the National Museum of American Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State are the latest steps in the ETA's establishment as an independent initiative. The ETA partners began their collaboration at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. After a year of extensive consultations with government, business, and civil society stakeholders, the partners released the core ETA Framework at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as several major companies and countries declared their interest in engaging in the continued development of the groundbreaking initiative.

"We must deliver innovative finance solutions at the speed and scale needed to transition to clean power and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. Working in partnership with developing countries, the ETA can mobilize billions to transition away from fossil fuels and achieve an ambitious, just clean energy future," said John Kerry, former Secretary of State and former U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. Secretary Kerry led the Department of State's engagement as a founding partner of the ETA from 2022-2024. Secretary Kerry was joined on stage by John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy. 

"LEAF and ETA are forging strong partnerships between governments and the private sector.  We invite other governments and other companies to join us in partnership as we carry these efforts forward so that, together, we can achieve the full potential of high-integrity carbon markets," said Richard R. Verma, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

"Investment in the energy transition needs to rise seven-fold by 2030," said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. "Carbon credits, done right, can play a vitally important role. The Energy Transition Accelerator, by insisting on the highest standards, can usher in a new phase of high integrity carbon crediting. Now is the time to accelerate investment in an equitable energy transition away from fossil fuels." 

"To advance human opportunity even as we slow climate change, we must invest in the people and communities living on the front lines of the climate crisis. The Energy Transition Accelerator is the sort of innovative solution that can unlock the billions and billions of dollars needed to ensure everyone – not just the wealthiest countries – can access the renewable energy technologies that can bolster the lives of people and communities even as they help protect the planet," said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.

The ETA will pioneer an innovative sectoral-scale carbon crediting standard enabling developing countries to generate high-quality carbon credits as a way to finance their transition from fossil-generated to clean power. According to preliminary estimates, the ETA could generate tens of billions of dollars in transition finance through 2035.

The three ETA partners announced several key steps for the work ahead in 2024 and beyond, including:

  • Building on the core framework presented at COP28, the partners outlined the ETA's governance and management structure, to be further elaborated in consultation with ETA stakeholders, available at https://www.etaccelerator.org/;



  • The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), led by President Nat Keohane, will serve as the ETA's secretariat. C2ES has served as a lead coordinator of the ETA since the concept was introduced at COP27;



  • The ETA partners established a new Senior Consultative Group to provide independent input on the ETA's design and operation, to be chaired by Secretary Kerry. Additional members will include Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, Arunabha Ghosh, Founder-CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Rachel Kyte, Co-Chair, Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), Annette Nazareth, Chair, Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, Mary Nichols, Vice Chair, California-China Climate Institute, Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, and Chief Executive Officer for Sustainable Energy for All, Co-Chair UN-Energy, and Vera Songwe, Co-Chair, High Level Expert Group on Climate Finance;



  • The Dominican Republic announced the formation of an inter-ministerial working group led by the Ministry of Energy and Mines to guide its engagement as an ETA pilot country, and ongoing support from the World Bank to model energy transition pathways and the catalytic role of carbon finance; and



  • The government of the Philippines announced that it will participate in the ETA as an observer country to develop a deeper understanding of the initiative and its potential to mobilize finance supporting the country's energy transition. The Philippines also hopes to inform the global energy transition dialogue through its unique perspective of a privately-owned, market-driven, and unsubsidized power sector.

At the event, the ETA partners and the World Bank highlighted the deepening strategic collaboration between ETA and the World Bank, including its Scaling Climate Action by Lowering Emissions (SCALE) partnership. SCALE aims to mobilize finance for effective energy transitions by enabling developing countries to be directly rewarded for verified emissions reductions from a pool of payments committed by public and private sector contributors.

"We must act now to end poverty on a livable planet," World Bank Group President Ajay Banga said. "The intertwined crises we face demand that we act together with urgency, speed, and scale and do so together. We must work with our partners to accelerate the clean energy transition, support forest protection and reward people and communities for their efforts. This will help countries leverage new sources and larger volumes of affordable finance through high-integrity carbon markets. High-integrity voluntary carbon markets could help transfer resources of wealthier nations to support development."

"The world cannot meet the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement without accelerating the clean energy transition in developing countries even as their economies grow," said Nat Keohane, President, C2ES. "The Energy Transition Accelerator is designed to meet this need, by providing an innovative platform for high-integrity carbon credits that has the potential to channel tens of billions of dollars to the clean energy transition – including to ensure a just transition for local communities – and leverage tens of billions more. C2ES welcomes the opportunity to help realize this ambitious vision by serving as the ETA's Secretariat."

According to the International Energy Agency, clean energy investment in developing and emerging economies excluding China must increase seven-fold to $1.9 trillion a year by the early 2030s to keep a 1.5°C limit on warming within reach. The ETA brings together governments and private sector stakeholders to employ high-integrity carbon crediting to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean power in developing countries, delivering faster, deeper greenhouse gas reductions and improving the lives of vulnerable people. The sectoral-scale crediting approach being pioneered by the ETA will incentivize participating countries to intensify their near-term activities contributing to power sector decarbonization, including to deploy clean power, retire fossil fuel assets, enhance storage capacity, transmission, and distribution, and implement new policy.

About the Bezos Earth Fund:

The Bezos Earth Fund is helping transform the fight against climate change with the largest ever philanthropic commitment to climate and nature protection. Jeff Bezos has committed $10 billion in this decisive decade to protect nature and address climate change. By providing funding and expertise, we partner with organizations to accelerate innovation, break down barriers to success and create a more equitable and sustainable world. Join us in our mission to create a world where people prosper in harmony with nature.

About The Rockefeller Foundation:

The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on X @RockefellerFdn.

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SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation



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