Leaders from a wide range of sectors on Friday came together to announce a new set of initiatives to transition to renewable energy and to show that more ambitious clean energy development can quickly become a bigger part of national climate plans submitted under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“With the price of renewable and storage technologies tumbling, and greater understanding on how to set the policy table for a cleaner energy mix and more integrated energy planning, the question before decision makers is, why wait?” said UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Rachel Kyte, as per a statement.
Success stories, action and new commitments shared during Energy Day at the UN Climate Change Conference named COP23 here from businesses, states, cities and forward-thinking countries continue to show ambition to ensure the clean energy transition is not only underway but is irreversible.
“Our pledge to leave no one behind is a critical component of the Paris Agreement. The energy transition that we can see is underway and must be a transition towards energy systems around the world that secure sustainable energy for all,” said Kyte, who is also the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All.
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “Two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions stem from energy production and use, which puts the energy sector front and centre of global efforts to combat climate change.”
“Our analysis shows that renewables and energy efficiency can together provide over 90 per cent of the mitigation needed in the energy system by 2050 to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, while also boosting the economy, creating jobs and improving human health and well-being,” he said.
International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “The transition of the energy sector in the next decades will be critical to meeting shared climate and sustainable development goals. Widespread action by governments and private sector alike has helped keep global energy-related emissions flat the last three years.”
The central goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement is to keep the average global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees.
About one degree of that rise has already happened, underlining the urgency to progress much further and faster with the global clean energy transformation.
Energy Day was organized by the Climate Group, International Energy Agency, IRENA and Sustainable Energy for All as part of a series of thematic action days held under the auspices of the Marrakech Partnership.
Meanwhile, IRENA’s new report, ‘Untapped Potential for Climate Action: Renewable Energy in Nationally Determined Contributions,’ said the renewable energy components of current national climate plans lagged behind actual deployment trends, national energy targets and the cost-effective potential for accelerated deployment.
It suggests there is substantial scope for countries to cost-effectively increase the renewable energy ambitions set forth in their Nationally Determined Contributions so that they are aligned with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
Two years after the world united around the Paris Climate Agreement and a year after its entry into force, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 197 parties have been reconvened for the 23rd annual climate change talks in Bonn till November 17.
The Bonn talks, which began on November 6, are expected to take a number of decisions necessary to bring the Paris Agreement to life, including meaningful progress on the agreement implementation guidelines, to achieve a goal of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius with an aim to cut greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.