Quote of the DAY: Martin Hullin from REN21

“The future of renewable energy is fundamentally a choice. All of the resources and technologies are there, but legislators and governments have to choose a renewables path.” – Martin Hullin from REN21, COP 20 Side Event – Success in Paris: Mapping a Path Towards 100% Renewables

Event recap:

In order to address climate change, we need a rapid transformation to renewable energy and better efficiency in the use of energy globally. To do this, we need to put a realistic price on carbon, stop subsidies and new investments in fossil fuels and set stable reliable conditions for the takeoff of renewables, including sufficient financial support.

Mapping a path to 100% renewables thus would require a global renewable energy action plan, supplemented by continental, regional and national action plans combined with carbon dioxide reduction targets and efficiency targets.

To learn how we can double the world’s share of renewable energy by 2030, read IRENA’s REmap2030 report.

China Makes Big Strides in Renewable Energy, But More Possible

Today, leaders from Chinese government and industry gathered on the side lines of the UN Climate Change Conference to present China’s policies and actions for addressing climate change. According to Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator, China plants to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted for every dollar of gross domestic product and to boost its stock of forests that absorb emissions.

China made headlines last month when it announced a joint deal with the United States to reduce emissions. It plans to cap carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and expand the share of non-fossil energy in total primary energy supply to around 20 per cent by 2030. China has already made strides in renewable energy, installing more renewables capacity in 2013 than Europe and the remaining Asia Pacific region combined, and providing 2.6 million jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Research shows however, that China can do even more.

According to an IRENA report, China can increase its use of renewable energy from 13 to 26 per cent by 2030, a nearly fourfold increase in the share of modern renewables between 2010 and 2030, and become the world’s largest renewable energy user.

The report is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap 2030, which provides a plan to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030 as a means to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

With current policies in place, the share of renewables in China’s energy mix will only rise to 17 per cent by 2030. The required investment of USD 145 billion could potentially save China more than USD 200 billion, factoring in the benefits of improved health and lower CO2 emissions.

China has demonstrated that it possesses the will and resources to spearhead a transformation of global energy use. REmap 2030 suggests concrete pathways to be considered to meet this generational challenge: to attain a clean and secure energy system in China and for the world.

Find out more: visit: www.irena.org/REmap.

Youth Demand End to Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

Youth activists rallied today at COP 20 against fossil-fuel subsidies.

A few facts:

  • The world currently spends US$ 500 billion a year on fossil fuel subsidies. That is five times more than is spent on subsidies for renewable energy.
  • We also do not adequately account for the cost of pollution on our balance sheets. By giving fossil fuels a free pass for the damage they cause to our health and the environment, we are effectively subsidizing them even further: eighteen times more than we subsidize renewable energy, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Governments need to level the playing field by reconsidering subsidies for fossil fuels.

IRENA Event to Discuss Renewables Role in Addressing Climate Change

IRENA analysis shows that doubling the global share of renewables would help mitigate climate change and contribute significantly to social and economic resilience.

An upcoming side event taking place on the sidelines of COP 20 in Peru, will draw on the work of IRENA, engaging public and private sector actors in a discussion on how best to scale-up renewables in the world’s energy mix.


WHEN: 10 December 2014, 14.00 – 16.00
WHERE:  Voices for Climate Fair – Energy Pavilion
TITLE: REthinking Energy: The role of renewable energy in addressing climate change
ACCESS: Open to all

PROGRAMME: IRENA’s side event flyer – COP 20 (PDF)


UN Climate Change Conference 2014 (COP 20)

Welcome to IRENA’s blog on all things renewable energy. During the first two weeks of December, we’ll be covering renewable energy news from the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru.

Who are we? The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) promotes the adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity. Learn more at www.irena.org.

Team IRENA at COP 20 – Schedule

A small team of IRENA staff members, including IRENA’s Director-General Adnan Amin will be onsite in Lima, Peru for five days to represent the organization, meet with stakeholders, and promote the worldwide expansion of renewable energy.

Need to reach us? Contact Hillary McBride, IRENA Communications Officer at hmcbride@irena.org.

IRENA’s schedule:

Sunday 7 December Speeches:
IRENA’s Director-General to speak at Globe Legislators event

Bilateral Meetings:

Monday 8 December Bilateral Meetings:
Climate Investment Funds, the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the EU Commission, the Maldives, New Zealand, Denmark and Costa Rica

10.00 – 11.00: Informal media breakfast with IRENA’s Director-General in the COP venue press centre. Media may RSVP to hmcbride@irena.org
17.40: IRENA Director-General interview with RTCC Climate Studio

Tuesday 9 December Speeches:
IRENA’s Director-General to speak at Global Access to Energy and Climate Change Conference Acciona and at the official German side event on the challenges and effects of implementing an ambitious national climate mitigation strategy

Bilateral Meetings:
Sweden, Kenya, Global Environment Facility, Incheon City

Wednesday 10 December Side Event:
IRENA will host a side event titled “REthinking Energy: The Role of RE in Addressing Climate Change

IRENA’s Director General will speak at the 1 Gigatonne Initiative launch event

Bilateral Meetings:
The Green Climate Fund, the Republic of Peru, The World Bank Group

Thursday 11 December Speeches:
IRENA’s Elizabeth Press will speak at a special event hosted by the COP20/CMP 10 Presidency titled “Following-up on Cooperative Climate Initiatives to Accelerate Climate Action”

Bilateral Meetings:
Brazil, France, the Alliance of Small Island States, Germany

Covering the latest news from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and developments in renewables.