Getting Ready to Take Stock of the Global Energy Transition

CIEP, October 2023, October 2023
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The Complexity of the Paris Commitments, Energy Security, and Geopolitical Uncertainty

The climate summit COP28 at the end of 2023 will discuss the outcomes of the first global stocktake under the UN climate regime. This is an important milestone in the institutionalisation of post-Paris climate cooperation. The global stocktake will shed light on how the parties to the Paris Agreement fulfil their self-determined commitments to mitigate climate change. Given the commitments’ focus on domestic energy policies, the stocktake will need to centre on the state of the global energy transition. Currently, the parties face a testing, unprecedented energy crisis and uncertainties that result from multiple geopolitical upheavals. This paper discusses the global stocktake from the perspective of these challenges. Its purpose is twofold. First, the paper provides an overview of the dynamics of the climate negotiations ahead of the global stocktake and major parties’ energy policies, focusing on China, the United States, the EU, and India. Second, it investigates how the Paris Agreement’s stocktake can evolve into a repetitive exercise that facilitates exchange about the future of the international energy system. The paper argues that the global stocktake, which will subsequently be held every five years, is an outstanding opportunity for the international community to regularly convene and assess the state of the global transition to climate neutrality. If used wisely, the stocktake can reduce uncertainties, entice countries to coordinate their energy transition policies, and help to enhance the security of energy supply throughout the transition period.