New IRENA Handbook Helps Countries Fight Climate Change Their Way

Today is NAMA day at COP 20, with various side events and presentations dedicated to discussing how NAMAs can be developed, find financing and limit risk.

While the name is a mouthful, nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs for the acronym-inclined) play a central role in the global response to climate change.

NAMAs are any set of policies or actions that a country voluntarily undertakes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They allow each country to chart its own path to mitigate climate change and get around the idea that one mechanism, or one set of policies, must work for every country (a climate negotiators nightmare).

Approved NAMAs include the introduction of a smart metering system in Serbia, the use of solar energy for hot water production in Belgrade, and a wind energy programme is Spain.

As the above examples illustrate, NAMAs also work to create an enabling environment for renewable energy implementation. They mobilize political support for renewables, and complement existing instruments like the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

That said, moving a NAMA from planning to actual implementation is a challenge.

Successful NAMAs must have government support and be consistent with existing domestic regulatory frameworks. They also must be in line with national priorities and development strategies.

IRENA created a NAMAs handbook (updated in time for COP 20) to advise policy makers and developers on how to build successful NAMAs that deploy renewable energy and mitigate climate change.

Please share and let’s see more NAMA’s get underway.

Check out UNFCCC’s NAMA Registry to see what projects are in the pipeline.

Peru Announces Plan to Generate 60% of all Electricity Through Renewables

DSC_0247The Peruvian Minister of Energy and Mines, Eleodoro Mayorga, introduced the Peruvian Energy Plan today during the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. The plan proposes that Peru, in the coming decade, will meet its electricity needs through a combination of renewable energy sources and natural gas, Peru’s lowest-cost natural energy resource. Peru intends to generate 60 percent of its electricity through renewable sources by 2024.

Earlier this year, the Peruvian Government and IRENA cooperated on a renewable energy readiness assessment for the country. The assessment identifies further actions that need to be taken to expand the share of renewables in Peru, as well as how to better complement rural electrification and improve on-going efforts to foster the development of bio fuel in the country.

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.

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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.

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