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. Continue reading IRENA Coalition for Action Launches #Renewables4Climate Campaign
IRENA to convene a global conversation at COP23 on the centrality of renewables in efforts to combat climate change
The adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement represented an unprecedented global deal to take deliberate and concerted action to combat climate change and keep the global temperature rise below two or even one-and-a-half degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
To meet even the less stringent of the two Paris goals, the global energy system needs to be fully decarbonized by 2060, despite an expected tripling of global GDP during the same period. This requires a more than seven-fold increase in the deployment of renewables compared to the growth that we have seen over the past decade, with renewables comprising two-thirds of global energy supply by 2050. Continue reading IRENA at COP23
As early supporters of renewable energy technologies Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have played a pivotal role in demonstrating the role of renewables in achieving the Sustainable Development and Climate agendas. They know that overcoming reliance on fossil fuels will increase both their resiliency and economic viability.
To assist SIDS in achieving their renewable energy goals, the Republic of the Maldives as the current chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), has just announced the creation of an Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE). The announcement came during the high-level session for the Global Climate Action Agenda at COP22. Its purpose will be to support SIDS in their implementation of the renewable energy and energy efficiency components of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to implement the Paris Agreement. IRIE is setting an initial goal of mobilising at least $1 million in grant and concessionary financing by 2020 for concrete implementation on the ground. Continue reading Scaling up Renewable Energy on Small Island Developing States: The Initiative for Renewable Island Energy
Ministers and senior officials from government, international organizations, development institutions and civil society gathered at COP22 in Marrakech on Monday to discuss the pathways to meet African climate objectives with renewable energy.
Building on concrete experiences, the high-level event, organized by IRENA and Environnement et Developpement du Tiers-Monde, gathered government representatives, climate finance institutes, development partners and civil society to discuss how African countries can reap the potential of renewable energy through NDC implementation while advancing their national development priorities. The side-event highlighted the key features of tools and climate finance resource to support NDC implementation. Continue reading IRENA Convenes Ministers at COP22 to Address Renewables for Africa
Building a renewable energy future will require new ways of thinking about the transformation of energy systems locally, regionally and globally. During a plenary session at the World Climate Summit on 13 November, held on the sidelines of COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, a diverse panel of speakers discussed the kinds of innovations needed to achieve rapid deployment of renewables – starting now and accelerating deployment through to 2050.
IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin introduced the session with the observation that the transformation of the power sector is no longer an issue given that the business case has become so clear and compelling. The greater challenge, he said, lies with finding solutions for transport, heating and cooling, and energy intensive industries. Continue reading Decarbonising the Global Economy: Thinking Differently to Achieve a Renewable Energy Future
“The climate objectives agreed in Paris require nothing less than the radical decarbonisation of the global economy,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General, speaking before the start of Energy Day at COP22 on November 11.
“Transitioning rapidly to a future fuelled by renewable energy, combined with improving energy efficiency, is the single most effective way to stave off catastrophic climate change while providing citizens with a better quality of life. But the pace and scale of change needs to dramatically increase if we are to fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement. Governments need to create the necessary policy and finance frameworks to catalyse a groundswell of initiatives, as the private sector develops its own decarbonisation strategies. This is well within our reach,” the Director-General said.
Energy Day was jointly organized by IRENA and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), in cooperation with the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) and the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency. It was one of a series of thematic days hosted by “Climate Champions” Minister Hakima El Haite (Morocco) and Laurence Tubiana (France), held under the auspices of the COP22 Presidency. The full programme and speaker’s lineup can be found here. Continue reading The Transformative Role of Renewable Energy – Energy Day at COP 22
Last year’s COP21, the United Nation’s annual climate conference, represented a critical negotiating juncture for the world — a make or break conference that determined whether countries would be able to set aside their differences and address the most pressing issue the modern world has ever faced: global climate change.
COP21’s Paris Agreement, which enters into force on 4 November, calls for limiting average global temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels at a minimum. But the fine details of how to do that have not been finalised. This year’s COP22, held from 7 to 18 November, will help determine what concerted actions are needed to avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate change. Continue reading Renewable Energy and IRENA at COP22
Islands from the Caribbean to the South China Sea are perhaps best known for their beautiful beaches, azure waters and rich sea life, but they are rich in something else as well: renewable energy. In most small island developing states (SIDS), a combination of renewable energy sources can meet the majority of domestic energy needs while decreasing electricity costs, increasing energy access, creating jobs and mitigating climate change.
What’s more, dramatically falling costs for renewable energy technology have made the switch to renewables more possible than ever before, resulting in many early success stories. In Cabo Verde for example, a wind project connected 50,000 citizens to the national electricity grid for the first time. In the Dominican Republic, 23 micro-hydropower plants are providing sustainable energy to more than 3,000 families across the country. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has also embarked on a large geothermal project, which could supply 75% of the islands electricity needs.
While it’s clear that strong renewable energy potential exists on islands, the pace of development is too slow. Continue reading Boosting Global Renewables, One Island at a Time
Energy ministers of the G20 and representatives of key intergovernmental organisations, including IRENA, recently met to discuss the G20 energy agenda including the progress that has been made since last October’s adoption of the IRENA-led G20 Toolkit of Voluntary Options for Renewable Energy Deployment — aimed at accelerating the adoption of renewable energy globally.
“Renewable energy offers a technical solution to energy access that meets multiple development goals and does it sustainably and in a climate-friendly way,” said Sakari Oksanen, IRENA Deputy Director-General, speaking at the G20 event in Beijing, China.
Continue reading G20, IRENA take on renewable energy at energy ministers meeting
Less than 2% of today’s global electricity is generated by solar photovoltaics (PV), but this is set to change. According to an IRENA report released today at InterSolar Europe, this figure could grow to 13% by 2030. Letting in the Light: How Solar Photovoltaics Will Revolutionize the Electricity System finds the solar industry is poised for massive expansion, driven primarily by cost reductions. It estimates that solar PV capacity could reach between 1,760 and 2,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, up from 227 GW today. Continue reading Solar Energy Could Power 13% of the World by 2030