New campaign highlights renewable energy as key climate solution
Recent findings from the World Meteorological Organization show that last year’s concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere increased at an unprecedented pace. While this rapid increase in concentrations can be attributed to a culmination of factors, energy-related emissions continue to represent up to two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the sector’s emissions is critical to meeting climate goals, and achievable with renewables.
Starting this week, the global community will gather for two weeks in Bonn, Germany for the twenty-third UN Climate Conference, COP23, with the hope to accelerate international climate action by assessing the implementation of the Paris Agreement. To coincide with these discussions, IRENA and its Coalition for Action partners have initiated a new #Renewables4Climate global campaign to raise awareness about renewable energy as a key solution to climate change.
“Energy efficiency and the fast transition to renewable energy are the prime solutions for the climate crisis, and we need to achieve 100% renewable energy before 2050 to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature increase limit of 1.5C. Shifting to 100% renewable energy is a no brainer,” says Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network (CAN). CAN is the chair of the IRENA Coalition for Action Communications group. “It creates jobs, improves health, and increases energy security. It is the best insurance policy for our children’s future.”
#Renewables4Climate, a multi-stakeholder campaign, urges members of the public, stakeholders and influencers to send out messages of support for renewable energy, using the hashtag #Renewables4Climate, to encourage countries to make the financial and policy commitments required to accelerate renewable energy deployment.
The campaign’s website is a focal point of activities on renewable energy’s transformation of the energy sector and serving as the ‘renewable energy track’ of over 40 renewables-related events at COP23.
IRENA has shown that renewables and energy efficiency can achieve 90% of the energy-related emissions reductions needed to reach the Paris target. While the transformation of the power sector is well under way, more efforts are still needed in end-use sectors, like buildings, industry and transport, which currently accounts for approximately 80% of the global energy demand.
“Renewable energy is now the most affordable power source in many countries, and costs are still falling,” says Timothy Hurst, Chief Communications Officer at IRENA. “While most people view renewables as a low-carbon source of electricity, this campaign is about broadening that outlook and helping promote renewables as a sustainable economic driver that is critical for addressing climate change.”
By showcasing the stories, photos and videos of how companies, governments, organisations, individuals are using renewables to transform their communities and the planet, #Renewables4Climate is igniting a global conversation on the role of renewables in increasing climate resilience and adaptation; accelerating energy access in rural areas, remote locations and small island developing states; and in providing cleaner, healthier energy to all.
With a critical mass of voices around the world calling for #renewables4climate, together we can encourage countries to make the required financial and policy commitments to make it happen. Join the discussion and be part of the movement towards a more sustainable world, by using the hashtag #Renewables4Climate on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Download these images from IRENA’s Flickr account.