The Paris Agreement was a watershed for the global energy transition. Nearly 190 countries outlined their current plans and strategies to reduce emissions and adapt to rising temperatures in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and the majority refer to energy transformation as a key component of their contributions. This signals an immense opportunity to achieve emission reductions at scale, while meeting sustainable development objectives. To seize this opportunity, the targets, plans and investments must now be translated into national policies and implementation strategies.
The Paris Agreement provides an important impetus to enhance efforts to achieve and surpass a global doubling of the share of renewables in the global energy mix. Leadership at all levels is critical to achieve this.
The 6th session of the IRENA Assembly, starting in Abu Dhabi at the end of next week, is a timely opportunity to move the Paris Agreement to the next phase, set the global renewable energy agenda and establish a blueprint for action to a sustainable energy future. This year’s Assembly will focus on the critical role of renewable energy in combatting climate change and meeting other Sustainable Development Goals. IRENA analysis shows that scaling up deployment to achieve a 36 per cent share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 can provide roughly half of the emissions reductions needed to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, while energy efficiency can provide the rest.
Highlights of this year’s Assembly include:
- Two Ministerial Roundtable sessions on renewable energy post-COP21, focusing on action and scaling up investment
- The launch of multiple IRENA reports including “Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics” and “Renewable Energy Market Analysis: The GCC Region”
- The announcement of five renewable energy projects in developing countries to be awarded funding under the IRENA Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility.
At the conclusion of the Assembly, IRENA and the Financial times will host an invitation-only special event titled “Scaling Up Renewables: Taking Climate Action to the Next Level” to further discussion on climate action through renewable energy.