Oslo on track to become first capital with zero-emissions public transport next year
An electric bus is seen on the street in Oslo, Norway, October 12, 2022. Reuters

Countries representing more than half of the global economy on Friday specified the steps they will take to help accelerate the low-carbon transition by cutting emissions in sectors including power, transport and steel.

Announced at the COP27 climate talks in the coastal Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the United States, Germany, Japan and Canada were among those to back a set of 25 "Priority Actions" that they aim to unveil by next year's talks in Dubai.

They hope that by collectively agreeing on a set of steps, for example agreeing a date to phase out gasoline-driven vehicles, they can send a clear signal to the market of policy direction that will encourage investors and companies to act.

Originally established as the "Breakthrough Agenda" at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, the Priority Actions also cover hydrogen and agriculture, with buildings and cement due to be added in 2023.

Coalitions of companies will join together for each sector, led by a core group and reinforced by finance and industry groups also working on the same problems.

"Radical collaboration is required to limit global warming to 1.5?C.," said Nigel Topping, U.N. Climate Change High-Level Champion for the UK, referring to the world's climate goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by mid-century.

"The Breakthrough Agenda is the largest ever collaborative effort to drive down the cost of cutting emissions across power, transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture, in line with the 1.5?C trajectory."

Thirteen countries had signed up to acclerate action in agriculture, led by Britain and Egypt, for example by increasing investment to generate solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.

"This represents a concrete international plan to decarbonise high-emitting sectors by 2030 and help developing countries seize the opportunity of low-carbon and climate resilient growth and development," said Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt.

A fully electric test van by British bus maker Arrival Ltd, due to start production in 2022
A man stands next to a fully electric test van, due to go into production in 2022, built by electric van and bus maker Arrival Ltd, that has seen a spike in interest due to soaring e-commerce amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and looming fossil-fuel vehicle bans, in Banbury, Britain, February 23, 2021. Reuters