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Last week, an agreement was reached at the climate summit in Dubai. For the first time, there was a test of whether the world is sticking to the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. The EU had two goals: a statement on phasing out fossil fuels and tripling renewable energy.

Wopke Hoekstra ticked off both points. For the first time, the final declaration spoke of “phasing out the use of fossil fuels.”

But a lot of compromises had to be made. KNMI chief director Maarten van Aalst, who was present at the summit, said, “It is a first step: the text merely ‘calls on’ countries to ‘contribute to’ a transition away from fossil fuels and contains several caveats and shortcuts to delay that phase-out for a while longer.”

Phasing out fossil fuels is going well in Europe. Solar power accounted for a record output of 56 gigawatts in 2023, wrote colleague Merien ten Houten this week. And that makes for a historic moment: the EU’s goal is 600 gigawatts by 2030, which seems achievable given these figures. Yes, you read it right. A climate goal that seems attainable!

Albert Jan very aptly shows where those solar panels are coming from in his cartoon this week. Green tech in China is booming. With nearly $700 billion in new loans, the Chinese government is pumping plenty of money into EVs, batteries, and solar panels. And that’s causing global trade in these products to rocket, to put it lightly. That international trade aside, it also caused solar capacity in China to already stand at 228 gigawatts early this year. That’s more than the world’s combined generated from the sun. Well, once that fact has sunk in…

…here’s what else struck us this week:

And here you’ll find the rest of the articles we wrote last week. Have a great, innovative week.

Aafke Eppinga
editor-in-chief Innovation Origins

In case you didn’t read them yet: here are the first and second editions of our magazine IO Next. On Wednesday, we publish the third edition. Don’t forget to subscribe.